Grand Haven man arrested on federal child exploitation charges; had been foster parent

Posted at 2:53 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 18:39:07-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - A Grand Haven man has been arrested and charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Possessing Child Pornography and other charges in federal court.

William Easterling, Jr. is facing four charges stemming from allegations that in December 2015 he persuaded a 16-year-old boy to record a video of himself masturbating and to send it to Easterling.  He is also accused of trying to persuade another boy who was between 13 and 15 years old to do the same, sometime between September 2015 and March 2017.

Easterling is also facing charges of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services tells FOX 17 that the Easterling family were licensed by the DHHS to serve as foster parents between 1995 and 2008.  There were again licensed in 2012 to the present day by Bethany Christian Services, but Bethany had been investigating the Easterlings and had made a recommendation that the DHHS should revoke their license.  That had not yet been acted on.

The DHHS says that no children had been placed with the Easterlings since February 2017.

According to election records, Easterling ran for State Representative in the 89th District in 2010, but he lost in the Republican primary.

We'll have more on this on later editions of FOX 17 News.