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Man arrested in sex abuse case at Salt Lake church

Maxwell Nathaniel Williams, 54, was arrested by Salt Lake police for investigation of forcible sexual abuse after allegedly assaulting an 18-year-old disabled woman at a local church in 2015.
Maxwell Nathaniel Williams, 54, was arrested by Salt Lake police for investigation of forcible sexual abuse after allegedly assaulting an 18-year-old disabled woman at a local church in 2015.
Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of sexually assaulting a disabled woman near a church restroom was arrested Sunday after police say he returned to the scene of the crime eight months later.

Maxwell Nathaniel Williams, 54, of Salt Lake City, was arrested by Salt Lake police for investigation of forcible sexual abuse.

In July of 2015, Williams was at the Miracle Rock Church, 131 N. 900 West, outside the woman's bathroom when an 18-year-old woman walked out, said Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking.

Williams hugged and kissed the woman while pushing his hips into her, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

He did not regularly attend the church and had only been there a couple of times before. Because of that, Wilking said church leaders were unable to identify him after the woman reported what had happened.

For eight months, Williams did not return to the church. But on Sunday, Wilking said the man went back for the first time. The church's pastor and the woman's mother recognized him as the man they had been looking for and they notified police.

The woman, now 19, is mentally disabled and had brain surgery prior to the assault, according to the report. Williams allegedly told investigators the victim appeared to be mentally disabled "and he thought that she was 15." Wilking did not know Monday whether Williams had been in the church specifically to stake out potential victims or whether he was aware of her disability prior to the alleged assault.

In 2006, Williams pleaded guilty to sexual solicitation, a class B misdemeanor, according to court records.

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