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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 11, 2019

Child Pornography Leads to 10 Year Sentence for Centralia Man

 

William P. Keller, 42, of Centralia, Illinois, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for distributing and receiving child pornography over the internet. Chief United States District Judge Michael J. Reagan handed down the sentence, which includes five years of supervised release and a $15,000 restitution award to the victims.

The case against Keller began in October 2017, when an online investigation discovered an IP address associated with Keller sharing child pornography over peer-to-peer software. During the execution of a search warrant at Keller’s home, federal agents seized a computer, a cell phone, and multiple external hard drives. An FBI forensic analysis of those devices uncovered over 1,400 images and 26 videos of child pornography. Some of the illicit files depicted the sexual abuse of children as young as toddlers.

On July 31, 2018, Keller pleaded guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with distributing and receiving identified child pornography files. He also agreed to forfeit his computer and an external hard drive that had been used in the commission of the crimes. At sentencing, Keller admitted his criminal conduct but maintained that he had collected the child pornography in a ham-fisted attempt to frame a relative he believed had molested his sister when they were children.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Hoell. It 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 11, 2019