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Grand Jury Charges Springfield Man With Receiving, Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging a Springfield, Illinois man with receiving and possessing child pornography. The indictment charges Charles J. Pierce, 71, of the 6400 block of Brent Drive, with one count each of receiving and possessing images of child pornography. Further, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of computer equipment and related items and programs used in the commission of the alleged offenses.

Pierce was arrested on September 4, 2009, and charged in a criminal complaint. Pierce waived a detention hearing and was ordered detained in law enforcement custody without bond.

The indictment alleges Pierce received images of child pornography on his computer from about November 17, 2008 to August 21, 2009. Further, the indictment alleges that on or about September 3, 2009, Pierce possessed images and videos of child pornography.

The charges are the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Springfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, receipt of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years imprisonment to 20 years in prison. Possession of child pornography carries a statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The offenses also carry terms of up to life supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

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 U.S. 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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