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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Former Boy Scout Troop Leader Indicted on Charges of Trafficking Child Pornography

URBANA, Ill. – A grand jury today returned an indictment that charges Milton Forsberg, 79, of the 800 block of West Charles Street, in Champaign, Ill., with trafficking child pornography. The indictment charges Forsberg with one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography.

Forsberg was previously arrested and charged in a criminal complaint on Oct. 16, 2019. Forsberg made his initial court appearance on Oct. 21, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long, in Urbana. Judge Long ordered that Forsberg remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Forsberg has been active in a local amateur radio club and has been involved with Boy Scouts for more than 40 years. In September 2019, the Champaign Police Department and the Illinois State Police received mandated notification of abuse from the Boy Scouts of America National Council to report that a California attorney represents a victim who alleges that Forsberg sexually abused him in Champaign in 1965.

The affidavit further alleges that when officers executed a search warrant of Forsberg’s home, they found numerous sexually explicit images at the foot of his bed, including some with prepubescent males, and that Forsberg attempted to conceal the photos with his cane when officers began their search. Officers recovered more than 100 images of minor males and a review of Forsberg’s computer showed that he had more than 30 open tabs to a Russian website that is known to law enforcement as a site used to share images of child pornography.   

Anyone with additional information about Forsberg is encouraged to contact the Champaign Police Department at (217) 403-6900.

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for receipt of child pornography is 20 years in prison; for possession of child pornography the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.  Each of the counts includes a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is representing the government in the prosecution. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Champaign Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. 

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 6, 2019