HARTFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSES
A Harford man pled guilty on April 25, 2011, to a two-count Indictment charging, in Count 1, Enticement of a Minor, and, in Count 2, Receipt of Child Pornography, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Mark A. Reynolds, 49, Hartford, Ill.-, faces a term of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years up to life, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of five (5) years to life on Count 1 of the Indictment. In addition, because Reynolds is a registered sex offender, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment to be served consecutively to the sentence he receives on this count. Reynolds faces a term of imprisonment of not less than fifteen (15) years up to forty (40) years’ of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not less than five years to a lifetime term of supervised release on Count 2 of the Indictment. Sentencing is scheduled for August 8, 2011, in East St. Louis, Illinois. Reynolds has been detained since his arraignment on March 7, 2011.
The violations took place on January 13, 2011, when Reynolds engaged in a sexually explicit chat with a 16 year old female in Massachusetts, and requested pictures of her. When Reynolds asked for the pictures, he knew that he was chatting with a 16 year old. The victim sent him a photo of her nude genitalia that same date. In a videotaped statement, Reynolds acknowledged that the victim he chatted with told him that she was 16 years old. He also admitted that she sent photographs of herself to him, and that he sent her photographs of a nude penis. Reynolds told the officers that the chats occurred while he was at work, and that he used an Air Card to gain access to the internet.
United States Attorney Wigginton affirmed that his office will seek out and prosecute any adult who would prey on children and would steal their innocence from them. “Our civilized society cannot tolerate such abuses by those adults who should be nurturing and protecting our children.” Wigginton said.
During the investigation, numerous media devices were seized from the Reynolds’ residence, his person, and his vehicle. Two laptop computers, a CD, and an external hard drive contained both images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, a search of the external hard drive revealed Reynolds hiding a video camera in his bathroom which secretly recorded his roommate’s 14 year old daughter getting in and out of the shower. After the minor left the bathroom, Reynolds is seen removing the camera from the bathroom. Finally, a review of the defendant’s cell phone records led to the identification of a third victim. This victim, now 18, also lived in Massachusetts. She and Reynolds engaged in sexually explicit conversation, and she sent him nude photographs of herself when she was 17 years old.
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.
The case was investigated by the Clinton, Massachusetts, Police Department; the North Brookfield, Massachusetts, Police Department; the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.