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Press Release

Ottawa, Illinois Man Sentenced To 7½ Years In Federal Prison For Receiving Child Pornography

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

CHICAGO — An Ottawa, Ill., man was sentenced yesterday to 7½ years in federal prison for amassing a large collection of child pornography over more than four years. The defendant, JAY ARTHUR WIDEMANN, 57, of Ottawa, pleaded guilty last October to receiving child pornography, admitting that he had collected more than 10,500 illicit images and videos.

Widemann formerly owned an appliance store in Ottawa and there were no allegations or indications of any sexual contact with minors.

Widemann was also ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution ― $10,000 to each of seven identified victims ― and he was placed on supervised release for five years following his prison term by U.S. District Chief Judge Ruben Castillo. Widemann was ordered to surrender on April 2 and must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Castillo said it sends a message that such collections of child pornography must be stopped.

According to court documents, Widemann was charged after the Ottawa Police Department received information from the Dutch National Police in Holland that a computer in Ottawa had been used to download child pornography from a Dutch website with massive collections of child pornography. The internet protocol address of that computer was traced to Widemann’s store in Ottawa. After further investigation, Ottawa police learned that Widemann maintained a large collection of child pornography on his computers at his store and residence, which he had accumulated between 2004 and 2009.

Widemann’s “collection of child pornography contained approximately 10,532 images and videos of child pornography, including acts of penetration, extreme degradation, bestiality, and bondage,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Levin wrote in a sentencing memo.

The federal investigation was conducted by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force. The task force is part of a nationwide effort known as the Innocence Lost National Initiative targeting those involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. In Chicago, the CETF is comprised of FBI special agents and officers and investigators from the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff's Office, and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

The sentence was announced today 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.

Updated July 23, 2015