News and Press Releases

West Frankfort, Illinois, Man Sentenced For Child Pornography Offenses

October 18, 2013

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on October 17, 2013, Devere L. Abair, Jr., 48, of West Frankfort, Illinois, was sentenced in federal district court for accessing child pornography images online and for failure to register as a convicted sex offender. Abair had earlier pled guilty to the charges on July 8, 2013. The Court sentenced Abair to 12 years in prison, a $400 fine and 10 years of closely monitored supervision after release from prison.

“Protecting our children from those who would prey upon them is my duty and my passion.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton. “Accessing these images victimizes children again and again. Such despicable behavior must be stopped.”

The evidence at sentencing established that Abair had previously been convicted in Indiana for sex offenses involving children. That conviction required Abair to register as a sex offender and notify authorities when he changed residences. Thereafter, Abair moved to West Frankfort, Illinois, and failed to notify authorities in Indiana or Illinois that he had moved. While investigating that offense, authorities discovered that Abair had been accessing child pornography from three computers at his West Frankfort residence.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Secret Service Southern Illinois Cyber Crimes Task Force, The United States Marshals Service, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.

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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources".















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