Illinois police arrested a 20-year-old man on child pornography charges this March, and on October 12 he was found guilty of one count of aggravated possession of child pornography. According to the Wheaton police, an undercover internet investigation prompted the arrest. While this particular incident did not involve direct sexual exploitation of a child, some may claim that viewing child pornography constitutes exploitation in and of itself. As part of the man’s sentencing conditions, DuPage County officials were cooperating with the Wisconsin Department of Probation to allow for the man to move to Wisconsin to be near relatives while serving out his prison term.
The man was sentenced to 24 months of sex offender counseling and probation and 364 days in jail. He already served 199 days awaiting trial, and he is currently taking part in a work release program until he is able to move to Wisconsin. He also is forced to register in a DNA sex offender registry for his entire life.
Being required to enroll in a sex offender registry for life can continue to negatively affect a person even long after they’ve served their sentence and completed any necessary rehabilitation. Neighbors, potential employers and others can easily search this database, and someone charged with a sex crime such as solicitation of a minor could be unfairly judged even years after the incident took place. For this reason, it is important to aggressively fight these types of charges. Wisconsin residents charged with internet crimes would most likely benefit from consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney, who may be able to help get the charges dismissed or, at the very least, argue for a sentencing that does not include enrollment in a sex offender registry.
Source: Wheaton Patch, “Wheaton man guilty of child porn charge,” Charlotte Eriksen, Oct. 12, 2011