FAIRFAX, Calif. (KTVU) -- A paroled pedophile has been arrested after police in Fairfax said he tried to lure three teenage boys by offering them money to help him wash cars.
Richard Williams, 54, was being held at the Santa Clara County Jail on charges that he violated his parole requirements that he have no contact with minors.
"His parole officer confirmed he does detail vehicles," said Fairfax police Chief Christopher Morin while describing the boys' alleged encounters with Williams earlier this month.
Fairfax, located in Marin County, has a population of about 7,500 residents and lists only a few registered sex offenders. Williams is from San Jose and is listed on the city's sex offender registry. Police said he has no known ties to Marin County.
"His history goes back 27 years with crimes against children," Morin said.
The investigation into Williams' activity has expanded to Fremont after workers at a Fremont business park told Fairfax police that they have seen Williams being accompanied by teen boys who were his helpers. The workers said they hired Williams to wash or detail their cars while they are at work.
Williams' most recent convictions stem from a similiar car-wash operation he ran in the parking lot of a Los Gatos athletic club.
In that case, he refused to pay the teens unless they took a shower with him or disrobed and got in a hot tub with him, resulting in molestations.
In Marin County, police said two 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy told officers that they were approached by Williams at a pizza restaurant just west of Drake High School on two occasions within two weeks.
The boys said he offered them food and money, gave them nicknames and told them not to tell their parents, police say. But one of the older boys told.
Police investigators were called and an officer posed as one of the boys, for a week of texting with Williams.
Police said Williams was wary at first and demanded to know the teen's nickname, which investigators had to learn.
"The boy provided us that nickname, and that opened the door, because Williams was confident he was talking to one of the boys he met," Morin said. "The communication included sexual innuendos and inappropriate statements because he is a seasoned pedophile."
Officers did not know the man's identify but they recognized his practice of grooming potential victims.
"Williams was getting him to feel comfortable and safe, like he was a mentor and a teacher," Morin said.
Officers set up a sting at a local pizza restaurant, where Williams arrived on a third time, expecting to meet the boys and go to a movie. They did not show, and he was under surveillance.
"He was here for like three to four hours," employee Abdul Bouzraa said. "And the police were watching him and then after they came in (they) got the picture of him."
When police were able to identify Williams, they found he had a long history of sex crimes against minors, and was most-recently convicted of luring high school boys in Los Gatos with the same car wash story.
Investigators immediately informed William's parole officer. When the suspect reported to his San Jose parole officer for a new ankle bracelet, he was arrested.
Violating parole could keep him incarcerated for 90 days, but Marin County's District Attorney will receive the Fairfax Police case. If convicted of annoying or molesting minors, Williams could end up in prison again.
"I have two kids in the car, so this is concerning," said parent Jerry O' Driscoll. "I'm shocked, but pleased that the pizza owner here and the police have gotten this guy and taken him away to jail."
Williams had been scheduled to leave parole in November 2017, when he court mandated supervision would end.
"So if these boys didn't tell, he would be in our community, any community," Morin said.
He praised the young would-be victims for overcoming their embarrassment.
"Being brave enough to go to their parents and say this is what's happening," Morin said.
Fairfax detectives are now in contact with Fremont Police to see if he might have preyed on teenagers in that community.
By KTVU reporter Debora Villalon.