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Press Release

St. Joseph Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Child Pornography Crimes

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

URBANA, Ill. – A St. Joseph, Ill., man, William M. Bell, 40, who was previously an information technology employee of Monticello, Ill., community unit school district 25, was sentenced today to seven years in prison for child pornography crimes. Bell has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on Feb. 8, 2019.  

On April 18, 2019, Bell entered pleas of guilty to using a computer or device in July and August 2018, to send visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and in November 2018, possession of images of child pornography.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Champaign County Sheriff’s office, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative, to marshal 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

Updated January 6, 2020

Project Safe Childhood