BELLEVILLE MAN SENTENCED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
A Belleville man, convicted of two counts of possession of child pornography, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on June 17, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Arthur Conway, 50, of Belleville, Ill.-, received a 120 month sentence for possession of child pornography. Following release from imprisonment, Conway will serve a fifteen year term of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender. Conway was also fined $750, and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment. Conway pleaded guilty to the charges on January 21, 2011.
“Children are not victimized once, but are victimized over and over again by those who would download and view this garbage. Viewing or possessing child pornography, not to even mention producing it, are evils that effect all of us. One of my highest priorities is to protect our children. As such, I will not fail in my efforts to eradicate this evil from Southern Illinois!” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
The facts of the case, as revealed when Conway pled guilty, were that during June of 2008, an undercover police officer in St. Louis County found that a computer in Belleville, Illinois was offering child pornography for download. The investigation led to Conway’s girlfriend’s home in Belleville.
On July 22, 2009, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents went to the girlfriend’s house and spoke to her. The girlfriend said that she and her boyfriend, Conway, used a desktop computer in the home. She consented to a preview of the computer and agents found two images of child pornography. Agents then seized the computer and a thumb drive from the home.
Also during the home visit, the girlfriend called Conway and told him what was going on. At the time of the call, Conway was sitting at lunch with his employer. Conway turned white and then explained to coworkers that he had been looking at child pornography. He paid for lunch and left. Conway then fled the Illinois area.
On August 19, 2009, Conway voluntarily returned to Illinois and went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Office. He eventually admitted that he hid his laptop in the basement of a home he was remodeling. Agents went to that home site and found the laptop.
Following a full forensic investigation of all of Conway’s computers and computer equipment, Conway was found to possess1,042 images of child pornography.
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 investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cybercrimes Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicole E. Gorovsky.