A former employee of the Fort Meade Youth Center was charged Tuesday with sexually abusing two boys there in 2010 and 2011, federal authorities said.

Anthony Dennis Williams II allegedly communicated with the boys through social media and text messages, authorities said in a criminal complaint. The 27-year-old Severn man engaged in sexually explicit conversation and exchanged sexually explicit photographs and videos with the boys, authorities said.

"Parents must be relentless about reading children's text messages and checking their social media accounts," U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. "Keep your children's passwords, read all of their incoming and outgoing messages, and take immediate action if they send or receive inappropriate messages."

Williams was a school-aged services employee at the Fort Meade Youth Center, authorities said. He taught a program called Passport to Manhood, a life course for juvenile males.

Officials at Fort Meade have scheduled a meeting for parents at 6 p.m. Thursday. They have set up a 24-hour call center for parents with questions at 866-454-9414.

"Our priorities are to ensure the families involved in the alleged incidents are receiving the support they need and that we continue to fully assist the FBI with their ongoing investigation," said Col. Brian P. Foley, commander of the Army base in Anne Arundel County.

"We are committed to providing treatment, care, and counseling for any patrons of the Youth Center who seek our assistance and will continue working with law enforcement authorities to support any further action that might be warranted."

Williams was arrested Tuesday and held pending an appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

The charges were announced by Rosenstein, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen E. Vogt and the Army Criminal Investigation Command. Rosenstein said the investigation is continuing.

Fort Meade officials said last week that the FBI was investigating abuse allegations at the youth center, which serves the children of service members and civilian Defense Department employees.

A spokeswoman said last week that the then-unidentified suspect left his job there in 2012.

The Fort Meade Youth Center runs after-school programs for children in grades six through eight and programs for children ages 3 to 18 and their families at other times. Spokeswoman Mary Doyle said the center's approximately 20 staff members undergo training on child abuse prevention, first aid and CPR, and other areas.

Army Secretary John McHugh directed a review of all youth programs to ensure that there is a proper level of supervision and oversight.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

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