William Alan Buie Jr. appeared in court for the first time Thursday at the Cumberland County Detention Center. His charges include 16 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 14 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 13 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and two counts of extortion.
His appearance in court lasted less than five minutes as the judge read him his rights along with the charges he is facing.
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Buie's father spoke with ABC11 and said his son made an honest mistake.
"You were 16, I was 16, we make a mistake," William Buie Sr. said. "But don't hold the boy down and beat him up and make him look like a criminal like he killed somebody."
Public Information Officer Sean Swain with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said: "This person is 16 who's soliciting pictures from other classmates. They're all under 18, which is why he has so many charges."
Other students at the school were involved in trading explicit pictures, which Swain admits. However, when Buie Jr. extorted his victims, that's when it became illegal Swain said. "This person has baited people into sending pictures and then he's turned around and extorted them for something using their nude pictures as the coercion."
Swain told ABC11 he expects Buie Jr. to accept a plea deal, although he is unsure of what the deal may contain.
Buie Sr. says his son was interested in politics and wanted to possibly become a politician one day. "He has a life ahead of him," Buie Sr. said. "But he's made this mistake now and if it sticks, there's no way he's going to be a productive citizen at all."
Buie Sr. said he wants "everybody from Fayetteville, North Carolina to wherever the world it goes to know my son is a good kid. Never in trouble. Never been in trouble. Has never done anything remotely close to being in trouble."
William Buie Jr.'s next court appearance is scheduled for June 22. He's being held on a $215,000 secured bond.
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