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Former Key Biscayne attorney William McCaughan Jr. now faces new and more serious federal charges that he lured two minors to engage in sexual activity.

The alleged victims did not live on Key Biscayne, Police Chief Frank Sousa said on Monday.

“I called the FBI and I asked,” he said.

The four new charges come with Key Biscayne already on edge because of McCaughan Jr’s  case and another investigation into allegations made against a gymnastic coach.

They were added in a superseding indictment docketed Friday and do not say where the two new alleged victims — described only as “Minor 1” and “Minor 2” – reside. McCaughan Jr. remains in federal custody. 

The superseding indictment still includes two pornography charges from July where McCaughan Jr. is accused of receiving child sexual abuse material of an 11-year-old Texas girl and asking an undercover FBI agent where he could find more.

The supporting information for the new charges remains sealed. McCaughan Jr. was set for a plea conference on March 5.

A phone call and an email to McCaughan Jr.’s attorney – David Rothman – for comment was not returned.

In this image posted to his Linked In account, former attorney William McCaughan Jr is seen posing for a promotional photo. (Linked In via KBI)

Miami lawyer David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, said from his experience it appears that the plea deal may have fallen through on the pornography charges. When a deal couldn’t be reached, the prosecutors filed a superseding indictment, he surmised.

“They (the charges) are far more severe,” he said. “It differs in that this means direct interaction with minors.”  If convicted of the new charges,  McCaughan Jr. faces a  mandatory 15-year prison term. But the maximum penalty could be life.

McCaughan Jr. is accused of enticing two minors to engage in sexual relations and coerced them to send explicit images to him, according to the indictment. The ages of the minors were not revealed.

The new charges cover a period between March 2020 and October 2021 – during the COVID pandemic. Two of the four new charges include production of visual depictions involving sexual exploitation of the minors.

Val Rodriguez, a West Palm Beach attorney who practices federal criminal  law, said that the “production” allegations means that McCaughan had some role in creating the pornography.

“That is a serious charge,” Rodriguez said. 

The Key Biscayne Village Council set a town hall for Monday on how police investigate sex crimes after a petition was circulated raising questions  about public notifications  of the McCaughan Jr FBI arrest , as well as an investigation into a gymnastics coach who once taught at the Key Biscayne Community Center. 

The gymnastics coach has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. The Miami Herald reported that two women have come forward to police with allegations the coach sexually abused them raped them when they were teens more than a decade ago, but Chief Frank Sousa has declined to say whether the investigation has been reopened  or not. 

Police also have fielded several calls from residents reporting suspicious behavior of individuals around children – but no arrests have been made.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.