An Edmond, Oklahoma man accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy and secretly recording other minors as they showered in his home has pleaded guilty to 72 criminal counts against him.
William Joe Pate, 31, came under investigation by Stillwater police for downloading and distributing child pornography. When they served a search warrant at his home, they discovered thousands of images of child pornography, including at least 50 clandestine videos of teenage males showering in his home.
During the course of the investigation, a 14-year-old boy told police that the man had sex with him on at least four occasions, including once at an Oklahoma City hotel.The teenager and the males in the clandestine videos were acquainted with Pate through another minor over whom Pate had custody. Investigators say the only victim with whom Pate had physical sexual contact was the 14-year-old who reported the contact to police.
As a result of the clandestine shower videos, the possession of child pornography, and the sexual abuse of the 14-year-old, Pate was charged with 72 criminal counts:
- 14 counts of sexual abuse of a child
- 2 counts of aggravated possession of child pornography
- 56 counts of manufacturing child pornography
The maximum penalty for child sexual abuse is life in prison. Aggravated possession of child pornography, defined as the possession of 100 or more sexually explicit images of a minor (Pate is accused of possessing 2,500 such images)--is likewise punishable by a maximum life sentence. Each count of manufacturing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
As Pate's case quickly approached trial, and as he faced the possibility of 16 life sentences plus more than a thousand years in prison, the defendant accepted a plea agreement. In exchange for a guilty plea to all 72 counts against him, Pate is sentenced to 45 years in prison. Because aggravated possession of child pornography and child sexual abuse are "85 Percent Crimes" under 21 O.S. § 13.1, he must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence--38 years and 3 months--before becoming eligible for parole.
If Pate is ultimately released from prison, he will likely be in his 70's. At that time, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
Learn more about Oklahoma sex offender registration, or call 405-778-4800 to schedule a free, confidential consultation about your case.