Three Illinois men were taken into custody on Feb. 21 on charges including child sex trafficking and producing child pornography. The investigation into the men’s alleged activities was launched in June 2019 by the Bloomington Police Department. The BPD’s Criminal Investigation Division was assisted during the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The arrests were made after a federal grand jury handed down multiple indictments on Feb. 17. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.
A 20-year-old Bloomington man faces three child sex trafficking counts in connection with activities he was allegedly involved in between 2017 and 2019. He waived his right to a detention hearing and is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service. A 26-year-old Normal man is accused of child sex trafficking and producing child pornography in 2018 and 2019. He appeared in court for a detention hearing on Feb. 27. A 24-year-old Normal man also declined a detention hearing and is being held on multiple child sex trafficking and producing child pornography charges for acts that he allegedly committed in 2019.
Initial media reports contain few details about the men’s alleged activities, but they do reveal that a 17-year-old girl was also taken into custody. The nature of the charges she faces have not been released. The men could be sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the child sex trafficking charges and up to 30 years in prison on each of the child pornography counts.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals accused of committing child sex offenses to consider pleading guilty in return for a more lenient sentence if the evidence against them is convincing. Police tend to take great care when investigating these cases, and the details of these crimes often inflame juries.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, Three Bloomington Men Indicted on Charges of Child Sex Trafficking, Child Pornography, Press release, Feb. 26, 2020