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Press Release

Peoria County Man Ordered to Serve 20 Years in Prison for Receiving, Possessing Child Pornography

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

PEORIA, Ill. – Richard L. Sills, 61, of Mapleton, Ill., has been sentenced to 20 years (240 months) in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography. At the hearing on June 13, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm also ordered that Sills remain on supervised release for 10 years following his release from incarceration. Sills will be required to register as a sex offender. Sills has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on Oct. 5, 2016.


Sills pleaded guilty to the offenses on Jan. 27, 2017. According to court documents, Sills was identified after investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations learned that a computer located within his residence was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download files containing child pornography. Based on this information, HSI special agents obtained and executed a search warrant for Sills’ residence in Oct. 5, 2016. During the search, Sills agreed to be interviewed and admitted that he accessed child pornography with the computer in his home using a peer-to-peer file sharing program and had been doing so since the 1990s.


At the conclusion of the search, HSI special agents seized numerous items of computer equipment. A forensic examination of the seized items revealed the presence of 1,322 images and 73 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.


Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald L. Hanna and Katherine G. Legge prosecuted the case, which was investigated by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations task force which includes officers on temporary detail from various local departments including the Washington Police Department.


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 15, 2017

Project Safe Childhood