East Bay church youth worker gets 12 years for inciting childhood with fake Instagram account

OAKLAND — A Bay Area man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for posing as a 14-year-old girl online and obtaining sexually explicit photos and videos of teenage boys, records show judicial.

William Marigny Jr. (Northern District Court Files)

William Marigny Jr., 42, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar. He pleaded guilty to luring children last year and faces at least 10 years in prison.

At the time of his state warrant arrest, he was volunteering at The Movement Church in Oakland, and prior to that, he worked at Central Baptist Church in Alameda, according to law enforcement sources. At both churches, he has sought positions to work directly with children, although authorities say no victims have been identified at either church.

Prosecutors argued that he was able to impersonate a teenager effectively because he surrounded himself with children at his job. They asked for a 15-year prison sentence.

“The defendant used these positions and their access to the children to, at a minimum, have fun with the children,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Bennett wrote in a sentencing memo. “He learned to talk like them, to fit in with them, to communicate with each other – that’s how he learned exactly what to say and do to trick his victims into producing and sending him child pornography. “

Bennett wrote that prosecutors identified 10 victims, including Bay Area children, and that Marigny attempted to meet with a 13-year-old boy who found out Marigny was an adult and gave the phone to his parents. The defense said Marigny himself canceled the meetings.

Marigny’s attorney, Deputy Federal Public Defender John Paul Reichmuth, pleaded for a 10-year prison sentence. He wrote in a sentencing note that Marigny had been abused as a child and suffered from PTSD after touring Iraq as a U.S. Marine, and added that Marigny was unlikely to reoffend.

Marigny has been in Santa Rita prison in Dublin since 2020 and will receive credit for this period of incarceration towards his prison sentence.

Jerry B. Hatch