COOPERATIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS RESULT IN REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER RECEIVING 30 YEAR SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT FOR ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR AND RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A Hartford man was sentenced on August 8, 2011, for Enticement of a Minor (Count 1) and Receipt of Child Pornography (Count 2), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Mark A. Reynolds, 49, Hartford, IL, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 240 months on Count 1 and 180 months on Count 2, to run concurrently. Because Reynolds was a registered sex offender when he committed the charged offenses, he received an additional mandatory minimum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment on Count 1, to be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 360 months’ imprisonment. Reynolds was also sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release, to be served after completion of his term of imprisonment. Reynolds has been detained since his arraignment on March 7, 2011.
“Reynolds was a registered sex offender during the time that he was preying on this teenage girl. He was previously convicted of Child Pornography in Madison County, Illinois, in January, 2008. Obviously, in 2011, he knew that what he was doing was criminal. Yet, he continued to attempt to entice minors into engaging in sexually explicit conversations and gathering pornographic images of children. Thanks to the work of dedicated law enforcement officers in Clinton, Massachusetts, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI, we were able to find Reynolds lurking on the Internet, identify his true identity, and execute a lawful search of his computers, cell phone, and compact discs. This search revealed the presence of numerous images of child pornography as well as videos of child pornography.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
“The investigation revealed that Reynolds engaged in a sexually explicit chat with a 16 year old female in Massachusetts, and requested pictures of her. In a subsequent statement to police, Reynolds acknowledged that the victim he chatted with told him that she was 16 years old. He also admitted that she sent nude photographs of herself to him at his request, and that he sent her photographs of a nude penis. During the investigation, numerous media storage devices were seized from Reynolds, which were found to contain over 3,000 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.” United States Attorney Wigginton explained.
“This case is a great example of cooperative law enforcement efforts by dedicated individuals who perform this work day in and day out without little recognition or fanfare. I would like to personally thank Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz for his continued commitment to protecting America’s children from these predators. Sheriff Hertz allows outstanding deputy sheriffs such as Deputy Sheriff Detective Sgt. David Vucich to participate in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force. In this case Detective Vucich received the initial information from the Clinton, Massachusetts Police Department that someone in our area was having sexually explicit conversations with a 16 year old female via Google mail and Google Buzz. From that point on Detective Vucich and other members of law enforcement conducted an outstanding cyber investigation and identified Reynolds as the perpetrator. Detective Vucich along with the other members of the FBI Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force should be recognized for the difficult work they perform every day to protect our children by hunting down the evil operators on the Internet and bringing them to justice!” added United States Attorney Wigginton.
“This successful prosecution is another step forward in our work to protect our children. Our efforts in this area have never been more aggressive, more collaborative, or more effective. I am calling on the public to be vigilant in protecting our children- to report criminal activity or improper Internet contacts made to children. In that regard I encourage the public to join me at the Community Education Awareness Support Exchange (“CEASE”) event being hosted by the City of Troy Police Department on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Weisemeyer Center in the Troy Tri- Township Park. The topic will be Child Exploitation and Internet Safety,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
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 was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.