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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 28, 2020

Illinois Man Sentenced for Production of Child Pornography

WASHINGTON - A Bloomington, Illinois, man was sentenced today to 30 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for production and possession of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John C. Milhiser of the Central District of Illinois. U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid pronounced the sentence.

Tyler Watson, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley on Aug. 19, 2019.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Watson came to the attention of the Bloomington Police Department while home on leave from active duty in the U.S. Navy.  Information from an acquaintance of Watson’s led police officers to discover sexually explicit pictures Watson had taken of a 6-year-old boy on Watson’s cellphone, as well as other child pornography images.  Watson was subsequently interrogated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and admitted to possessing, distributing and producing child pornography.  A forensic examination of his electronic media subsequently revealed that he had communicated with and received sexually explicit images from other minors via the internet.

The investigation was conducted by the Bloomington Police Department and NCIS with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section’s (CEOS) High Tech Investigative Unit and the FBI.  This case was prosecuted by CEOS Trial Attorney Nadia Prinz and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Morris and Adam W. Ghrist of the Central District of Illinois.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc<http://www.justice.gov/psc.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 28, 2020