Wills, facing multiple life terms, is yet to be sentenced
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas––The likelihood that former Michigan Humane Society president and Humane Society of the U.S. vice president David Keith Wills, 67, will spend the rest of his life in a federal penitentiary appeared to increase on December 18, 2019, when U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sent co-defendant Maria Candelaria Losoya, 57, to federal prison for 15 years.
Losoya on August 1, 2017 pleaded guilty in Corpus Christi federal court to a single federal count of trafficking a minor––her own daughter––for sexual purposes. Losoya began pedaling her daughter to Wills when the girl was 10.
Most of those charges could potentially send Wills to prison for life. Even one 15-year sentence, if served without possibility of parole, could keep Wills behind bars until age 82.
The convicted charges against Wills, said U.S. attorney Ryan K. Patrick, include one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor female, seven counts each of sex trafficking and coercion/enticement of a minor female, one count of attempted coercion/enticement, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Losoya got mandatory minimum
Judge Ramos sentenced Losoya to serve the only mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison.
After hearing a statement from the minor victim and her guardian “detailing the impact the crime had on the victim’s life,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in a prepared statement, Judge Ramos “noted that Losoya provided valuable testimony at the trial of co-defendant David Keith Wills,” for which Losoya received some leniency.
Wills, whose attorneys managed to delay his trial for four and a half years after his April 2015 arrest, is unlikely to receive any leniency.
Added the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement, “Losoya will also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim and will serve five years of supervised release following completion of her prison term, during which time she will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict her access to children and the internet. She will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
“Losoya was allowed to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Protegé of former HSUS president Hoyt
At Wills’ trial, an earlier U.S. Attorney’s Office statement summarized, “The jury heard testimony that Wills promised to pay for the victim’s college tuition if Losoya allowed him to sexually assault the young girl. Wills also reimbursed Losoya for gifts to the victim and expenditures she would otherwise not have been able to afford. These included an iPad, Bose headphones, a flatscreen TV, Apple laptop, trampoline, swimming pool and a school trip to Washington D.C.
“Wills sexually assaulted the minor female multiple times,” from 2012 “until she reported it in April 2015,” the earlier statement recounted.
Wills, a longtime protégé of former Humane Society of the U.S. president John Hoyt (1932-2012, heading HSUS 1970-1996), was elected president of the Nashua Humane Society in 1972 at Hoyt’s recommendation; moved to the Michigan Humane Society in 1978, also at Wills’ recommendation; formed the short-lived National Society for Animal Protection in 1990; and dissolved that organization when in 1991 Hoyt made him vice president for investigations at HSUS.
30 years of recurring allegations
Wills left each position amid allegations of misuse of funds.
Allegations of sexual misconduct also arose at the Nashua Humane Society and the Humane Society of the U.S. also arose at each stop, but did not result in criminal charges.
In August 1995, three HSUS employees including current president Kitty Block sued Wills for alleged sexual harassment and embezzling.
Suspended by HSUS soon afterward, Wills was fired in November 1995.
Wills countersued the HSUS employees who sued him. Those cases were settled out of court in mid-1998.
In June 1999 Wills pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling $18,900 from HSUS between 1990 and mid-1995. Wills agreed to pay restitution of $67,800 to HSUS, and accepted a six-month jail sentence. HSUS and the State of Maryland agreed to drop six other counts of embezzlement, alleging thefts of $84,128.
Worked for animal use fronts
Wills, after his association with HSUS ended, resurfaced in 2000-2004 in connection with the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, a front for animal use industries funded by entities including the Red Lobster restaurant chain, the National Trappers Association, the International Fur Trade Association, and Monsanto Corporation, the leading maker of bovine somatotropin, a synthetic hormone used to artificially boost the amount of milk given by cows.
Other donors included the Japan Whaling Association, the Maryland Trappers Association, Smithfield Foods, and the Strauss Veal Company.
Wills later promoted several controversial ventures into shrimp farming, one of which, SeaArk, reportedly spent more than $42 million without getting beyond “pilot” development.
Wills acknowledged in 2015 that another of his shrimp farming projects, Global Blue Technologies, based in Rockport, Texas, had “performed below investor expectations.”