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Rock Island Man Charged With Receiving, Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2009

Rock Island, Ill. – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging a Rock Island, Illinois man, Michael S. Slaight, 42, of the 500 block of 14th Street, with receiving and possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that Slaight possessed more than 100 images of child pornography on March 16, 2009, and that he received images of child pornography by computer on February 11, 2009 and on March 9, 2009. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Slaight’s computer equipment and related materials.

Slaight was arrested on March 16, 2009, and charged by criminal complaint. In an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields on March 20, 2009, Slaight waived his detention hearing and was ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Slaight is a registered sex offender. If convicted, Slaight faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and up to 40 years for receiving child pornography. For possession of child pornography, the statutory minimum penalty is 10 years and up to 20 years in prison. Both offenses carry terms of supervised release of up to life following the term of imprisonment.

The charges are the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Rock Island Police Department and the Moline Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Cannon is prosecuting the case.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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