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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Repeat Sex Offender Indicted on Charges of Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A federal grand jury has charged Taylor Vanderploeg, 20, of the 700 block of West California, Urbana, Ill., with receipt and possession of child pornography. The two-count indictment, returned today, alleges that on or about Dec. 24, 2017, Vanderploeg received visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also alleges that on March 2, 2018, Vanderploeg possessed mobile devices and other digital storage material containing child pornography.

On March 28, 2018, Vanderploeg was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint. During a court appearance on March 28, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long, in Urbana, Vanderploeg was ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, at the time of the alleged offenses, Vanderploeg was on probation for a September 2017 conviction for possession of child pornography in Iroquois county, Ill., and is also a registered sex offender.  

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for receipt of child pornography, as a repeat offender, is 40 years in prison; the maximum penalty for possession of child pornography is 20 years in prison. Both charges carry fines of up to $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Champaign Police Department and the Champaign County Probation Office.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 4, 2018