Glasford, Illinois, Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois
PEORIA, Ill. – Benjamin C. Lascelles, 36, of the 600 block of Main Street in Glasford, Illinois, was sentenced on March 23, 2023, to 360 months’ imprisonment for producing child pornography, to be served consecutive to a 240-month prison sentence for possession of child pornography. In total, Lascelles was sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Lascelles must also register as a sex offender once he is released. His sentence will be served concurrently with a case filed in Peoria County, where he pleaded guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual assault and was sentenced to 48 years and 7 years in prison, respectively.
At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that Lascelles video recorded and photographed himself sexually assaulting two children, ages 8 and 6, on multiple occasions in December 2019. In February 2020, law enforcement officers with the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service executed a search warrant at Lascelles’ residence in Glasford and seized his electronic devices, including computers, cameras, mobile devices, and electronic storage devices. A forensic review of the devices revealed that Lascelles had produced 90 images and 8 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including videos of himself engaged in sex acts with a prepubescent minor.
Also at the hearing, Judge Shadid discounted Lascelles’ continued insistence that he was not sexually interested in children and had no recollection of the conduct for which he was being sentenced due to his excessive alcohol use.
Lascelles was arrested on a criminal complaint in the federal case in February 2020. An indictment was filed in March 2020. He pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography in November 2022. He has remained in custody throughout the pendency of his case.
The statutory penalties for sexual exploitation of a minor are 15 to 30 years’ imprisonment and the penalties for possession of child pornography are up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Each of the charges carries a minimum five-year term of supervised release and a possible fine of up to $250,000. Special assessments under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act are also possible.
The United States Secret Service, assisted by the Canton Police Department, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.
The case against Lascelles was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. 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.
Updated March 29, 2023
Project Safe Childhood