Crime

Waxhaw man sentenced to 20 years in NY child sex abuse case

Bill Bates-Congdon.
Bill Bates-Congdon. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

A Waxhaw man who pleaded guilty to child sex abuse charges in New York this year remains under investigation by the FBI and Union County authorities in a child pornography case, officials said Wednesday.

Bill Bates-Congdon, 51, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he admitted to abusing two boys and two girls – ages 7 to 12 – between 1997 and 2005, Oswego, N.Y., County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said.

Bates-Congdon was indicted on 22 abuse-related counts, Oakes said, and pleaded to two counts of sodomy in the first degree and one count each of criminal sexual act in the first degree and sex abuse in the first degree. Allegations involving at least one other child had statute of limitations problems, according to Oakes.

He’s the worst kind of monster.

N.Y. DA Gregory Oakes, describing convicted child abuser Bill Bates-Congdon

The case centered on children in Scriba, a small town east of Rochester on the edge of Lake Ontario.

Bates-Congdon knew his victims, Oakes said. The district attorney praised their courage in stepping forward, saying: “They were motivated in part by justice and by a sense of wanting to prevent him from doing this to other children.”

He also said Bates-Congdon is very good at duplicity. In jail, he launched a campaign to pressure the district attorney for a lesser sentence, claiming he was being targeted because he is gay, Oakes said.

The prosecution had nothing to do with sexual orientation, Oakes said, and “everything to do with him as an abuser of children.”

Bates-Congdon even managed to convince his minister to lobby Oakes on his behalf. The prosecutor recalled telling the minister that Bates-Congdon was playing him the same way he played his victims and their parents.

Oakes said he told the minister, who was unaware of specifics in the case, “This was a man who systemically sought out victims to victimize over a period of years. He’s the worst kind of monster.”

Another investigation

Bates-Congdon moved from New York to Waxhaw about a decade ago.

In June 2014, Union County investigators working with New York authorities said they seized homemade child pornography videos from Bates-Congdon’s home in Waxhaw. Two Union County children were identified in the videos and their families were notified, officials said at the time.

Both of the boys were under the age of 16 and knew Bates-Congdon, Union County Sheriff’s Office Captain David Linto said. No additional children from Union County have been identified, he said.

The Sheriff’s Office is working with the FBI on the case, Linto said. Oakes said his office also has been in contact with the FBI and Union officials.

The FBI is continuing to review computer files and older media, including floppy discs and VHS tapes, Linto said.

He said he hopes the case can go to the U.S. Attorney’s office for consideration by the end of the year. Authorities also will need to sort out jurisdiction issues.

Bates-Congdon is locked up in New York’s Attica prison, records show.

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell

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