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Grand Jury Charges Decatur Man With Production, Possession Of child Pornography

November 6, 2009

Urbana, Ill. – A Decatur man who has been charged in Macon county with alleged criminal sexual assault and abuse of a child has been charged by a federal grand jury with production and possession of child pornography. Douglas H. Spensley, 42, of the 3200 block of East William Street Road, Decatur, Illinois, was arrested yesterday and made his initial appearance for arraignment in federal court in Urbana. Spensley entered a not guilty plea and jury trial was scheduled on January 11, 2010. U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal entered a temporary order of detention and Spensley was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a hearing to determine detention scheduled on November 10, at 1:30 p.m.

The grand jury returned the indictment on Tuesday, November 3; however, the indictment was sealed pending Spensley’s arrest and appearance in court. The indictment alleges that from October 1, 2008 through October 9, 2009, Spensley coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct to produce a visual depiction of the conduct. The indictment alleges Spensley possessed images of child pornography on October 9, 2009. Further, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of cameras, computer equipment and related items used in the commission of the alleged offenses.

The federal charges are the result of an investigation by a Decatur Police Department detective assigned to a working group of officers assisting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is prosecuting the federal case in cooperation with the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, production of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 15 years imprisonment to 30 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

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