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Springfield Man Sentenced to 100 Months In Prison For Receiving, Possessing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – August R. Billek, 50, of the 800 block of East Miller, Springfield, Ill., has been sentenced to serve 100 months ( 8 yrs, 4 months) in federal prison after pleading guilty in August to receiving and possessing child pornography. During the court hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott further ordered that Billek serve a lifetime term of supervised release upon his release from prison.

On Aug. 13, Billek entered pleas of guilty to two counts of receiving child pornography, from Feb. 19, 2008 to Dec. 28, 2008, and from Feb. 5 2009 to May 5, 2009, and one count of possession of child pornography on May 18, 2009. Billek also agreed to forfeiture to the government of his computer and related equipment. Billek has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on May 18, 2009.

According to court documents, in January 2009, a law enforcement officer identified a computer offering to participate in distribution of what appeared to be child pornography via a peer-to-peer network. The officer browsed the computer, later identified as Billek’s, and identified movie files depicting children engaged in various sexual activity including with adult males and females. At the time of his arrest Billek worked part-time as “Downtown the Clown” and as Santa Claus during the Christmas season.

The charges were the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Springfield Police Department and other members of the working group including officers with the Decatur Police Department, Mattoon Police Department, Illinois Secretary of State Police, and the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson prosecuted the case.

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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