Wills reportedly raised $42 million-plus for shrimp scheme, but child sex charges may not attract investors
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas––Former Humane Society of the U.S. vice president for investigations and Michigan Humane Society president David Keith Wills, 64, was arraigned on July 20, 2017 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice B. Ellington on charges of “sex trafficking of a nine-year-old girl,” acting U.S. attorney Abe Martinez announced through spokesperson Angela Dodge.
Wills’ co-defendant, Maria Candelaria Losoya, 55, was arraigned on July 21, 2017, Dodge told ANIMALS 24-7.
Their trial is set for September 11, 2017, subject to possible postponements.
“Wills was permitted release upon posting a $5 million bond. Losoya’s conditions of release are pending,” Dodge said.
The prosecution appealed setting bond. Wills will remain in jail for at least another 14 days, pending the appeal hearing.
Whether Wills can raise the money is unclear. Wills has been held in the Nueces County jail on state charges since November 2015 in lieu of posting bond of $1 million. One local TV news report said Wills had bonded out in December 2015, but a February 2016 report said he remained in jail, and ANIMALS 24-7 has been told that Wills was still in jail when hit with the federal charges.
First charged with related offenses in April 2015, Wills was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force on November 15, 2015 at the Corpus Christi International Airport while preparing to fly to Washington D.C., beyond Texas jurisdiction.
Nueces County Judge Jose Longoria told a bail reduction hearing in February 2016 that if Wills was able to bond out of jail, he would be required to wear a GPS monitoring device and would not be allowed to leave the nine-county Coastal Bend region, centering on Corpus Christi, extending roughly from Brownsville in the west to Rockport in the east.
Losoya, reportedly the mother of the nine-year-old victim, was initially held on $1 million bail in Nueces County, reduced in February 2016 to $500,000.
Recounted U.S. attorney’s office spokesperson Dodge, “A grand jury indicted Wills along with Losoya on June 28, 2017. They were arrested July 14.”
“Have child, will travel”
At the arraignment hearings, Dodge said, “The court heard testimony that Wills and Losoya started sexually assaulting a nine-year-old victim in Brownsville in 2012. Wills later moved to Rockport. After that time, the court heard that Losoya traveled with the victim from Brownsville to Rockport so that Wills could continue the abuse in exchange for money, according to the allegations.
“The indictment alleges that between September 1, 2012 and April 7, 2015, Wills and Losoya trafficked a minor under the age of 14 for commercial sex using force, fraud or coercion,” Dodge continued. Wills and Losoya thereby allegedly violated U.S. federal law as well as Texas state law.
“If convicted,” Dodge said, confirming previous ANIMALS 24-7 coverage, “both face a minimum of 15 years and up to life in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, both also face a maximum term of life on supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.”
Cautioned Dodge, as her position requires, “An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.”
State & county charges
Reported Coastal Bend Chronicle publisher John Morgan, “San Patricio County District Attorney Sam Smith, who has a case for state charges against Wills for aggravated sexual assault of a child, is waiting to see what federal authorities do before he takes action. Charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child against Wills are on file in Cameron and Aransas County as well.
“Cameron County prosecutors said they have since dismissed their cases,” albeit with a statement reserving the right to re-indict, “and Aransas County’s prosecutors have not sought an indictment. San Patricio County has charges still pending, charges which Smith said he is likely to dismiss once federal prosecution moves forward.
Mother allegedly watched
“According to the witness statements,” Morgan summarized, “Losoya encouraged her then nine-year-old daughter to perform sexual acts with Wills. These sexual acts continued until the victim was thirteen. Losoya also allegedly watched the sexual acts as they took place. Reports indicate Wills and Losoya were dating at the time of the assaults, which reportedly occurred in Cameron, San Patricio, and Aransas counties. Police arrested Wills and Losoya after the victim told a school official about the assaults.”
Wills when the initial cases were filed was chief executive officer of Global Blue Technologies, a shrimp farming scheme. “Wills’ name has been removed from the company’s website,” Morgan noted.
Long nasty history
Independent of federal charges, Wills might already have potentially been facing life in prison, but only if convicted of particular combinations of offenses, as ANIMALS 24-7 explained in detail in Former HSUS vp David Wills hit with federal child sex charges on July 16, 2017.
Former HSUS vp David Wills hit with federal child sex charges also detailed Wills’ long history of previous brushes with the law, beginning at the Nashua Humane Society in New Hampshire circa 40 years ago, continuing through his associations with the Michigan Humane Society, National Society for Animal Protection, and the Humane Society of the U.S.
Animal use industries
Wills’ tenure at HSUS ended with a conviction for embezzling and an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by three HSUS employees who sued him for sexual harassment.
Wills was subsequently for at least four years associated with the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, a front for animal use industries, before becoming involved in shrimp farming ventures, one of which reportedly lost $42 million without ever getting into commercial scale production.