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Press Release

McLean County Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Receiving Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. – Stephen F. Croker, 43, of Normal, Ill., was sentenced today to five years (60 months) in federal prison for receiving child pornography. The court also ordered that Croker remain on supervised release for eight years following his release from incarceration. Croker will be required to register as a sex offender.


Croker pleaded guilty on January 12, 2017. According to court documents, Croker was a member of Playpen, a hidden website dedicated to the sharing of child pornography that operated on the Tor anonymity network from August 2014 until March 2015. Between September 2014 and March 2015, Croker logged into Playpen and downloaded content depicting the sexual exploitation of children. Upon a search of his residence, agents located a USB thumb drive that contained more than 2,000 images and 54 videos of child pornography.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna prosecuted the case. The FBI conducted the investigation.


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 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

Updated June 22, 2017

Project Safe Childhood