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Two Champaign Men Charged In Seperate Cases With Receiving, Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2009

Urbana, Ill. – Trial dates have been scheduled for July 20, 2009 for two Champaign, Illinois men charged with receiving and possessing child pornography in separate, unrelated cases, as announced by U.S. Attorney Rodger A. Heaton, Central District of Illinois. The federal grand jury returned the indictments on May 6, 2009; however, the charges had remained sealed pending the arrest of the defendants.

Michael Piccioli, 25, of the 4300 block of Iron Wood, Champaign, Illinois, is charged with three counts of receiving child pornography by computer – on August 27; September 22; and October 20, 2008. Piccioli, who works part-time at the Savoy Recreation Center, is also charged with one count of possession of child pornography on November 24, 2008. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Piccioli’s computer equipment and related materials.

Piccioli was arrested on May 14, 2009. During a hearing on May 14, before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal, Piccioli was released on bond with special conditions pending trial on July 20, 2009.

In a separate, unrelated case, the grand jury charged Scott Halliday, 35, of Quince Drive, Champaign, Illinois, with two counts of receiving child pornography by computer – on April 20 and May 27, 2008. Halliday is also charged with one count of possession of child pornography, from April 20 through May 27, 2008. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Halliday’s computer equipment and related materials.

Halliday was also arrested on May 14, 2009, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal. Halliday was released on bond with special conditions pending trial on July 20, 2009.

If convicted, the mandatory minimum statutory penalty for each count of receiving child pornography is five years in prison and up to 20 years in prison. For possession of child pornography, the statutory penalty is up to 10 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 and the Champaign Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is prosecuting both cases.

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

The cases were 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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