20-Year Sentence for Granite City Man Who Downloaded Child Pornography, Destroyed Evidence
David C. Hogue, 32, of Granite City, Illinois, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography and destroying evidence of his crimes, U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft announced today. Chief United States District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel handed down the 240-month sentence, which includes a 10-year term of supervised release. Hogue pleaded guilty to a three-count superseding indictment late last year.
Hogue was initially charged in February 2017 with one count of receiving child pornography after an FBI investigation traced an IP address that was sharing child pornography over the internet back to Hogue’s house. Hogue was released on pretrial supervision with a number of conditions, including the remote monitoring of his internet activity by the U.S. Probation Office. Within two months of his release, the Probation Office observed Hogue downloading and viewing more child pornography videos, and Hogue was rearrested.
A federal search warrant was issued for Hogue’s computer, and a forensic search showed that Hogue was regularly running software programs that erased his hard drive contents, in an attempt to cover up his child pornography downloads. When questioned about specific images and videos he had downloaded and viewed while on bond, Hogue responded, “How could you see that? I deleted all of those files.” Hogue’s bond was revoked and a superseding indictment was filed that added a second count of receiving child pornography and also charged Hogue with obstruction of justice, for destroying evidence while under investigation.
During Hogue’s sentencing hearing, the FBI testified that the computer wiping programs Hogue used were uncommonly sophisticated. The court also heard evidence about certain admissions Hogue made after his arrest – that he had once briefly fondled an 11 year old girl and that he had entertained sexual fantasies involving a young female relative. In imposing sentence, Judge Rosenstengel explained that the 20-year prison term was needed to protect the public, noting that Hogue presented a high risk of reoffending and that she had serious concerns about what might happen if Hogue was ever allowed to be near a child unsupervised.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Hoell prosecuted the case.