Police: Man met Huntsville teen for sex via online game, more charges coming

William Park Winston

Police say Winston and the girl had been communicating for about a year before they met.

Posted: Jun 21, 2019 3:10 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2019 5:03 PM

The Huntsville Police Department is releasing new information on the man charged with sodomy after an alert came in from an Uber driver.

William Park Winston, 34, was booked in the Madison County Jail about 12:50 a.m. Thursday and charged with second-degree sodomy. Lt. Michael Johnson, police spokesman, said an Uber driver contacted police after taking a young teenage girl to an address. Police responded and later arrested Winston.

He also will be charged with traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act and facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act, Johnson said.

On Friday, WAAY 31 learned Winston is from the Atlanta area and that he met the 15-year-old girl through the video game Fortnite. Fortnite is an online video game that can be played on multiple systems, including Android, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS, and more.

Police say Winston and the girl had been communicating for about a year before they met.

They say Winston was in town staying for one night in a short-term rental property, and that he ordered the 25-minute-long Uber ride for the girl.

Police are investigating if Winston met any other teens through the game.

"Most offenders that are involved in these cases are going to claim they didn't know the age of the victim, but that's an awful lot of trouble to have sexual contact with somebody, travel that far and to lease a property for that short of a time, so that is going to be evidence in this case," Johnson said.

"There had definitely been some trust built through this communication, so what we need parents to do is intervene and understand what their kids are doing. Who are they talking to? Who are they building trust with?"

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