Brice Williams, a drag queen who goes by the stage name of ‘Anastasia Diamond’, has been charged with 25 counts of possessing child pornography. Williams was previously honored for his work with LGBT youth and more controversially, was filmed performing a drag show for minors.
Williams was charged in June with 25 counts of child pornography and 18 counts of criminal use of a communications facility. According to Penn Live, Williams downloaded at least 49 photos and 25 videos of naked prepubescent boys, and court documents state that the videos showed boys performing sex acts on each other, sometimes with an adult male involved.
Williams admitted to police that he had viewed child porn since 2014, beginning on messaging apps and progressing to sharing files with likeminded men on cloud storage apps, court documents state.
Before his arrest, Williams, from Pennsylvania, was a celebrated LGBT activist. The accused did HIV awareness and prevention work with GLO Harrisburg, a center that provides a “safe space” for minority LGBT youth.
The LGBT Center of Central PA gave Williams its ‘Rising Star Award’ in 2021, although posts celebrating the drag queen have since been deleted from the organization’s website and social media pages.
“I feel as though this is so important because I know there are little kids like me who are queer [and] who are black who are still not able to look up to anyone,” Williams told PennLive last year. “So that’s the reason why I got into this line of work. I wanted to make ... a big impact for folks in my community.”
Williams courted controversy even before his arrest. An undated video shared by the ‘Libs of TikTok’ Twitter account showed Williams performing for a group of children, apparently in a gay bar.
Such performances have become highly contentious in the US. Video surfaced last month of a drag queen clad only in panties leading a young girl around a bar in Miami, prompting calls for legal action. Footage from another “child-friendly” drag show at a Texas gay bar last month went viral after children were seen waving dollar bills at performers and joining the queens on stage beneath a sign reading “it’s not gonna lick itself.” Meanwhile in Washington, DC, footage showing children and toddlers marching in a ‘Pride’ parade behind a topless man with breasts caused outrage online.
The above incidents led conservative protesters to picket gay bars and accuse the performers of “grooming” children, and prompted Republican lawmakers in multiple states to introduce legislation banning such events.
Under Pennsylvania law, possessing child pornography is a second-degree felony, with each count carrying a maximum prison term of ten years, while criminal use of a communication facility carries a maximum sentence of seven years.