Criminal Justice News

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Red Bud Resident to Serve 25 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography


On June 29, 2018, Michael B. Stephens, Jr., 43, of Red Bud, Illinois, was sentenced to 25

years in federal prison for producing child pornography, United States Attorney for the Southern

District of Illinois, Donald S. Boyce, announced today. Stephens previously pled guilty on March

22 to a two-count indictment charging him with sexually exploiting a minor on two occasions in

November 2016.


The charges arose from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

and the Waterloo, Illinois, Police Department. Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings

established that on numerous occasions in 2016, Stephens videotaped himself engaging in sexual

intercourse with a minor female at his residence in Waterloo, Illinois. The evidence also

established that Stephens was both physically and verbally abusive to the minor female during this

time.


In addition to the 25 year sentence, United States District Judge Michael J. Reagan imposed

a ten-year term of supervised release and ordered Stephens to pay a $500 fine. As a result of his

conviction, Stephens will also have to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.

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 case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child

Exploitation Task Force and the Waterloo, Illinois, Police Department. The case was prosecuted

by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak with assistance fromMonroe County State’s

Attorney Christopher Hitzemann.

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