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Greene County Man Charged with Manufacture, Possession of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2011

Springfield, Ill. – A White Hall, Ill., man, James Anthony VanMeter, 51, appeared in federal court in Springfield today on charges that he manufactured and possessed child pornography. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were contacted on Oct. 11, 2011, regarding allegations that VanMeter had taken inappropriate photos of a young girl. The affidavit alleges that officers investigating the allegations recovered various images and videotapes which depicted child pornography.

During today’s court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore, VanMeter was ordered to remain detained in U.S. Marshals Service custody.

The charges were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Southern Illinois Cyber-Crimes Unit, White Hall Police Department, and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory M. Gilmore in cooperation with the Greene County State’s Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for manufacture of child pornography is 15 to 30 years in prison; if a defendant has a prior conviction, the penalty is enhanced to 25 to 50 years in prison. For possession of child pornography, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison. Both offenses carry terms of supervised release of up to life following any term of imprisonment.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The 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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