A Chicago man who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography charges was sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Investigators from the Sheriff’s Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) arrested a 41-year-old man on charges of possessing child pornography in October of 2022. He had already been arrested and was on probation for possession of child pornography from a previous offense that occurred in 2017. The defendant was also convicted of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in 2001 and was a registered sex offender.
Before his arrest, ICAC tipped off authorities concerning downloads the defendant had made of explicit materials involving children under the age of 13. The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography of a child under the age of 13. With a felony already on his record, the crime was charged as a class-1 felony.
What Constitutes Child Pornography Under Illinois State Law?
Child pornography is defined as any image or video that depicts minors under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. It also includes images that are designed to evoke a sexual response for the sexual gratification of the suspect. Under Illinois law, you can be charged with the manufacture, distribution, or possession of child pornography. Examples of unlawful behavior include:
- Sending sexually explicit text messages containing images of children under the age of 18 or encouraging a minor to send you sexually explicit photos of themselves
- Possessing images of an individual under the age of 18 that are considered pornographic in nature
- Downloading or distributing sexually explicit photos of minors over the Internet
- Distributing child pornography over the Internet, through the mail, or in person
- Selling child pornography over the Internet
- Producing child pornography in any medium, including videos, photos, or digital media
Penalties for Child Pornography in Cook County, IL
The penalties for possessing child pornography in Illinois are severe. There are mandatory minimum sentences that judges must impose on those charged with possession of child pornography. Possession alone can result in a sentencing range of 4 to 15 years behind bars. The sentencing range can be increased to 30 years in prison if the images depict children under the age of 13.
Distribution or production of child pornography has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
What to Do if You are Accused of Possessing Child Pornography
You should not offer up any information that will help the prosecutor’s case. Police will tell you that everything will be easier if you come clean and comply with their investigation. This is not true. You should have a lawyer present for any discussions with police, and you should not comply with any search requests without a warrant.
Talk to a Cook County, IL, Child Pornography Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with possession of child pornography in Chicago, IL, David Freidberg can help you defend yourself against the charges. Call (312) 560-7100 today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.