News and Press Releases

Alton Man pleads guilty to child pornography offense

May 22, 2012

An Alton man, Robert P. Ridenour, pled guilty on May 22, 2012, to a three-count Indictment
charging him with Receipt of Child Pornography (Count 1), Distribution of Child Pornography
(Count 2), and Possession of Child Pornography (Count 3), the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Because Robert Ridenour,
37, of Alton, Ill. - has a prior conviction for aggravated criminal sexual assault involving a minor,
the penalties for the charged offenses increase. Ridenour faces a term of imprisonment on either or
both of Counts 1 and 2 of not less than fifteen (15) years but not more than forty (40) years, a fine
up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five (5) years to life. Ridenour faces a term of
imprisonment on Count 3 of not less than ten (10) years but not more than twenty (20) years, a fine
up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five (5) years to life. Sentencing is scheduled
for September 28, 2012, in East St. Louis, Illinois. Ridenour has been held without bond on this
charge since March 2, 2012.

The violations were discovered when officers conducting a sex offender compliance check
went to the residence that Ridenour shared with other individuals. Ridenour is a registered sex
offender as a result of a conviction for Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault in 1997 in Madison
County, Illinois. A preliminary review of a computer owned by Ridenour revealed images of minors
engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the “my pictures” folder on the computer. Ridenour gave
officers consent to seize and search a desktop computer and a flash drive plugged into it. Forensic
reviews of the desktop computer and the flash drive revealed several hundred images of minors
engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In a voluntary interview, Ridenour admitted the offenses.

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

The case was investigated by the Alton Police Department and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force.

The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.














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