Flora Man Charged With Child Pornography Offense
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Michael L. Pittman, 56, of Flora, Illinois, was charged in an Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Benton, Illinois, with possession of child pornography. Pittman received his first appearance in Federal Court on Monday, July 23, 2012, where the Court ordered that he be held without bond. Pittman's trial is currently set on September 24, 2012, in Federal Court in Benton, Illinois.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.
Pittman faces up to 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and from 5 years to lifetime supervised release to follow any incarceration if convicted.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Secret Service's Southern Illinois Cyber Crimes Task Force, and a number of state and local law enforcement agencies.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and
local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and
to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit
www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit
www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.