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Press Release

Quincy Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

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

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Quincy, Illinois, man, James Payne, 76, of the 600 block of College Avenue was sentenced on December 3, 2021, to a ten-year prison term for possession of child pornography.

At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough found that Payne’s prior criminal conviction for predatory criminal sexual abuse meant that he qualified for an enhanced sentence. The judge further found that Payne possessed over 1,000 images of child pornography, including images of children under the age of twelve and images depicting sadistic or masochistic conduct involving an infant or toddler.

Payne had previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography on May 28, 2021, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins pursuant to a written agreement.

The statutory penalty for possession of child pornography is generally up to ten years’ imprisonment; however, where, as here, an individual has a prior conviction involving sexual abuse the penalty is not less than ten years’ imprisonment and not more than twenty.

"Child pornography is not a victimless crime, can be predictive of other hands-on offenses, and continues to plague our society," said acting U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. "We appreciate the hard work of the Quincy Police Department and our other law enforcement partners who work diligently every day to locate, investigate, and apprehend the people who perpetuate the child-pornography industry."

The prosecution was the result of an investigation by the Quincy Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanner K. Jacobs represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Payne was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative 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 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 December 10, 2021

Project Safe Childhood