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Press Release

Bethalto Man Sentenced For Producing Child Pronography

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

Will Spend Twenty Five Years in Prison, Then Will Be on Supervision for the Rest of His Life

A Bethalto man was sentenced in federal district court on April 11, 2014, for Production of Child Pornography, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Walter Lewis Sherman, 47, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Sherman pled guilty to the charges on December 4, 2013. He has been in continuous custody since January 24, 2011. There is no parole in the federal system.

“This was an appropriately harsh sentence for a very disturbing crime. My office will always be on the forefront of protecting the most innocent and vulnerable members of our community from such predators.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton.

The violation occurred from approximately December 13, 2008, to July 2010, in Madison County, Illinois, and involved a kindergarten-aged child. Sherman admitted to taking still photographs of the nude child, consisting of extreme close-up images of the child’s genitalia.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

The case was investigated by the Bethalto Police Department, which has a detective assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cybercrime Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison.

Updated February 19, 2015