Rantoul Man Charged With Child Pornography Offenses
Springfield, Ill. – A federal grand jury in Springfield today returned an indictment charging Edward C. Brown, 35, of the 1200 block of Sycamore Street, Rantoul, Ill., with distribution and possession of child pornography.
The indictment alleges that from January 2015 to March 2015, Brown distributed and possessed images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of computers and related materials allegedly used to commit or promote the offenses.
If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of distribution of child pornography (two counts) is a mandatory minimum five years in prison to 20 years in prison and a term of supervised release of up to life following any term of imprisonment. If a defendant has a prior child sex abuse or child pornography conviction, the statutory penalty is not less than 15 years and up to 40 years in prison. For possession of child pornography (one count), the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
Brown was arrested on March 11, 2015, and charged in a criminal complaint with distribution of child pornography. During a court appearance on March 12, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce, in Urbana, Brown was ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. The charges are the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Urbana Police Department, the Rantoul Police Department, and the Illinois Secretary of State.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.