A Mascoutah man, Jeremy S. Beasley, 22, pled guilty on February 28, 2012 in federal court in East St. Louis to a two-count information charging him with enticement of a minor (count one) and distribution of child pornography (count two), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Sentencing is scheduled for May 31, 2012. Beasley was detained, that is, held without bond, pending sentencing.
At sentencing, Beasley faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five years to life on count one. On count two, Beasley faces a term of in prison of not less than five years but not more than 20 years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five years to life.
The violation charged in count one occurred on September 6, 2010, when Beasley asked an individual who he believed to be 14-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit images of herself, including full frontal nudes and close-ups of her genital area. Beasley met and conversed with the person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl while posing as a 16-year-old boy on MySpace.
The violation charged in count two occurred on August 11, 2010, when an officer participating in an Internet undercover operation downloaded 18 images and/or videos containing child pornography from what was later determined to be Beasley’s computer at the residence he shared with his parents in Mascoutah, Illinois.
Beasley provided a voluntary statement to law enforcement officers in which he admitted recently using a file-sharing program to download child pornography to his computer. Beasley stated that his file-sharing account was set to share, and that he knew that other individuals could access and download the images of child pornography from his computer. Beasley said that he traded and/or distributed child pornography with 15 to 20 friends. Finally, Beasley stated anything on the computer seized from his residence, from which the files had been downloaded, belonged to him, and that no one else used this computer.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the Wheaton, Illinois Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.