Petersburg, Illinois, Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Receipt, and Distribution of Child Pornography
PEORIA, Ill. – A Tazewell county man, Eric Ingram, 30, of Washington, Ill., is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court on Oct. 31, 2018, on charges that he received child pornography on two occasions in July 2018. The grand jury returned the indictment charging Ingram on Oct. 16.
Ingram was previously arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint on Oct. 4, 2018. During a court appearance on Oct. 10, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley, Ingram was ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Facebook, Inc. notified Washington Police Department officials in September of messages between Ingram and a 15-year-old minor that contained sexually explicit conduct. Facebook advised that it appeared Ingram was soliciting the content from the minor victim. Further, the affidavit alleges Ingram lived in close proximity to the minor victim and had discussed meeting in person in the Facebook messages.
If convicted, for receipt of child pornography, the statutory penalty for each count is five to 20 years in prison and up to lifetime supervised release upon release from prison.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Legge and Ronald Hanna. The charges are the result of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the Washington Police Department.
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.