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Mattoon Man Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2011

Urbana, Ill. – A Mattoon, Ill., man, Christopher M. Ohm, 24, appeared in federal court in Urbana this morning on child pornography charges. Ohm was arrested on Jul. 18, after a grand jury returned its indictment charging Ohm with sending, receiving and possessing images of child pornography. Ohm appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal who ordered that Ohm remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Trial is scheduled on Sept. 26, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey.

If convicted, each count of the offenses of sending (four counts) and receiving (two counts) child pornography carries a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison and up to 20 years. For possession of child pornography (two counts), the statutory penalty for each count is up to 10 years in prison. All the offenses carry terms of supervised release of up to life following any term of imprisonment. Further, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of computer equipment and related items used in the commission of the alleged offenses.

The indictment alleges that Ohm used a computer on four occasions from 2006 to 2009 to transport multiple images of child pornography, specifically images of minor boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and that he received images of child pornography on two occasions in January 2007. Further, Ohm allegedly possessed child pornography in June 2007 and March 2011.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations and members of the working group including the Mattoon Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Keith.

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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