Investigation of sexual assault in Lassen Park results in arrest
A Red Bluff mother reported to the Red Bluff Police Department that her daughter had been sexually molested earlier this year by Vernon Lee Williamson Jr., age 61. Red Bluff Police Department detectives were able to determine that the minor child (under 12) was molested in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Working with the Red Bluff Police Department, National Park Service special agents were able to uncover additional evidence. Thursday, Oct. 13, a federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted Williamson on two counts of felony sexual assault. Williamson was arrested Friday, Oct. 14, at his Red Bluff home pursuant to a warrant issued Oct. 13 by a U.S. District Court judge. Williamson faces a 30-year to life sentence if convicted. The arrest occurred without further incident.
“This significant case has a successful outcome only because of the excellent cooperation of the Red Bluff Police Department and several other agencies,” said park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. Other agencies in this combined effort included the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI, working with National Park Service law enforcement staff.
Lassen Volcanic National Park rarely experiences such significant crimes. “The park has no record of sexual assaults, of any kind, for at least the past 15 years,” said Koontz. “We intend to vigorously pursue all such matters to maintain a safe environment for the visiting public and local communities.”
Williamson has been transported to a Sacramento County jail under a “no bail” warrant. The juvenile victim was placed in a protected environment.