Urbana, Ill. – A rural Vermilion county man, Robert Lee Garrison, 43, of the 10,000 block of 2750 N Road, Potomac, Ill., was arrested today on child pornography charges and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal, in Urbana. A federal grand jury in Peoria recently returned the indictment that charges Garrison with receipt and possession of child pornography, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. The indictment had remained sealed pending Garrison’s arrest and arraignment.
Garrison has entered a plea of not guilty and the court scheduled trial for Aug. 4, 2014, before Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, in Peoria. Following today’s court appearance, Garrison was released on $10,000 unsecured bond with specific conditions including pre-trial monitoring and supervision.
The indictment alleges that from August 2006 to May 2011, Garrison received 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 receipt of child pornography is a mandatory minimum of 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, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office.
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.
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