William George Barney Captured
Former scout leader William George Barney is a repeat offender charged with crimes dating back to 1988. After being charged with sexually abusing six young boys in California, Barney pled guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and served less than 12 months in jail. A few years later, Barney moved to Las Vegas where he allegedly seduced his next young victim. The child said Barney molested him as many as three times a day for six years. When the boy finally told police his terrible secret, Barney vanished before Nevada authorities could question him.
William George Barney's life on the lam recently came to an unexpected halt after one of his friends discovered his identity.
"He [seemed] like a normal guy," Roberto says. "Like [any] retired guy in Ensenada."
Roberto says Barney mostly kept to himself, but some of his friend's behavior struck him as strange—especially the fact, he says, that Barney had young men over to his house in the evenings.
As soon as Roberto realized Barney's true identity, he contacted the FBI, who, in turn, contacted Mexican authorities. Within 48 hours, Barney was captured. After five years on the lam, Barney was returned to the United States to stand trial.
Jan Caldwell, a Special Agent with the FBI, thanks Oprah viewers for Barney's capture. "This is a man that very well might have gone underneath the radar for the rest of his life," she says, "and we have him off the streets. Children are safe now."
Barney has been charged with three counts of lewdness with a minor. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to 18 years in jail, but could be released after just six.