BATCHTOWN MAN SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Zachary G. Friedel, 27, of Batchtown, Ill.-, received a five year sentence for possession of child pornography, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Following release from imprisonment, Friedel will serve a ten year term of supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender. Friedel was also fined $750 and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.
Friedel plead guilty to the charges on January 26, 2011. A factual stipulation filed at the time of the plea indicates that Friedel came to the attention of law enforcement as a result of an online undercover investigation. Investigators determined that Friedel was offering child pornography over a peer to peer file sharing network. A search warrant was executed at Friedel’s home on April 29, 2010, resulting in the recovery of a laptop containing child pornography videos which Friedel had collected over the internet.
Friedel was remanded to custody following the sentencing hearing, which was held on May 6, 2011.
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 United States Secret Service and the Illinois State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison.