SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A San Jose, Illinois man, Joshua Skelton, 42, of the 100 block of Furlane Drive in San Jose, Illinois has been sentenced to 60 months imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised release for distribution and receipt of child pornography.
Skelton was arrested and indicted in November of 2021 and pleaded guilty in September of 2022. He has remained in the custody of the United States Marshal since his arrest.
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that between January of 2021 and November of 2021 the defendant engaged in the receipt, distribution, and trading of child pornography of prepubescent children. According to the defendant’s own statements, he had traded between 100 and 200 images using online chatting applications.
During the hearing, Senior U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough found that the defendant’s conduct included distributing and receiving over six hundred images or videos of child pornography, and that at least one of the images included sexually explicit conduct involving a toddler or portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct.
The statutory penalties for distribution of child pornography are not less than five years but not more than 20 years in prison, up to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The statutory penalties for receipt of child pornography are not less than five years but not more than 20 years in prison, up to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office investigated the case, with assistance from the Illinois State Police and the Logan County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Tanner K. Jacobs represented the government in the prosecution.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.