GRANITE CITY MAN SENTENCED TO 32 YEARS FOR
PRODUCTION AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A Granite City man, convicted of child pornography, was sentenced to 32 years in federal prison
on February 8, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R.
Wigginton, announced today. Joseph Emil Klug, 30, of Granite City, Ill.-, received a 32 year sentence
for production and possession of child pornography. Following release from imprisonment, Klug will
serve a lifetime term of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender. Klug was
also fined $2,000, ordered to pay a $200 special assessment, and ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution.
Klug pleaded guilty to the charges on September 29, 2010. Klug has been in custody since his
arraignment on February 18, 2010.
Court filings at the time of the plea show that the FBI executed a search warrant at Klug’s Granite
City home on November 23, 2009, as a result of a lead generated in another investigation. Klug was present at the time of the search, and he agreed to speak with agents. Klug told FBI agents that he had been struggling with an “addiction” to child pornography for five or six years. Klug indicated that he
possessed 80 to over 100 gigabytes of child pornography, with much of it consisting of images of boys
aged 8 to 13 engaging in sexually explicit conduct on the computers in his home which he gathered via
peer to peer file sharing software via the internet, a facility of interstate commerce. While using peer to
peer file sharing software, Klug would share his child pornography collection with others over the
internet. Klug also told the FBI that he had surreptitiously filmed minor-aged males in various settings,
to include in bathrooms. The investigation revealed that this was often done using a sophisticated video
camera secreted in a backpack which Klug could simply set in place for his films.
Forensic examination of the computer equipment recovered from Klug’s home revealed that he
possessed approximately 59,000 still visual depictions and 12,000 videos of real minors engaging in
sexually explicit conduct. Forensic examination also resulted in the recovery of images Klug made by
surreptitiously filming boys showering and using the toilet with a hidden camera. Klug had access to the
children by virtue of his participation in a church youth group.
Testimony presented at the sentencing hearing included a summary of online chats that Klug had
with other individuals on the internet. In the chats, Klug falsely portrayed himself as a father of a boy,
and he would discuss involvement of his fictional child in sexual activities. During these online chats,
Klug sought new images of child pornography from the “private collections” of his online chatting
partner. In asking for images from a “private collection,” Klug was asking for child pornography pictures
which would have been created by the online chatting partner. Klug’s online chats included providing
advice on how to groom children, penetrate them, and avoid getting caught. Evidence produced at
sentencing included descriptions of the child pornography possessed by Klug which included still images
and movies containing depictions of graphic sexual assaults involving infants and prepubescent children,
to include bondage, penetration of prepubescent children by adult males; and bestiality. Klug’s conduct
included distributing child pornography.
United States Attorney Wigginton noted that, “Child pornography images depict the rape, sexual
assault, sexual exploitation, and degradation of children. These are crime scene photos, not mere images
of nudity. Sentences imposed over the last month should serve as a warning to anyone who is inclined
to victimize the most vulnerable members of our society by possessing, receiving, and manufacturing
child pornography. Joseph Klug’s 32 year sentence followed the imposition of an eight year one month
term of imprisonment on Timothy J. Freeland for possession of child pornography and a 12 year seven
month term of imprisonment on Thomas E. Lowery for possession and receipt of child pornography. My
office will continue to prosecute these cases with vigor.”
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
Information for the indictment was obtained in an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau
of Investigation’s Metro East Cybercrime Task Force, which includes a Collinsville detective who
assisted in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison.