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Justice News

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

Friday, March 20, 2015

Chicago Area Man Convicted On Child Pornography Charges

CHICAGO ― A Chicago area man was convicted today for producing child pornography involving a minor whom he photographed in sexually explicit photos as a part of a fantasy world that the defendant created.  The defendant, JOHN GABRIEL, 79, of Lockport, who has been in custody since he was arrested on federal charges in September 2013, was found guilty of one count of manufacturing child pornography.  U.S. District Court Judge John J. Tharp has not yet set a sentencing date.  According to court documents and witness testimony during the four day trial, defendant Gabriel enticed a 17 year old girl by creating a religious fantasy world in which he used the pseudonym “Sarah” to email the victim under the guise of being an angel who had selected the victim to participate in a “Program” run by the angels, in order to save young boys from Satan. In addition to instructing the minor victim about the Program, Sarah suggested that the victim should develop a closer relationship with defendant. For example, in one email, Gabriel wrote “listen closely to those things John [defendant] tells you. You can have a happy life and you can leave all the dirty nasty sinful things behind.”

Essentially, according to the emails received by the victim, the Program dictated that if participants had sex with troubled young boys, under the age of 18, then they were assisting in training the boys in better behavior, and to fight the devil. In addition, according to these emails, each time a participant had sex with a troubled boy; a wealthy benefactor would purchase guide dogs for the blind and fund children’s wings for hospitals. The defendant took sexually explicit photos of the victim and posted them on an Internet website, purportedly for the purpose of recruiting the troubled young boys to have sex with the victim.

Gabriel faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison for manufacturing child pornography, and a $250,000 fine.  The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statues and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Barry Jonas and Shoba Pillay.

Updated July 23, 2015