Granite City Man Sentenced to More Than 27 Years for Child Pornography Offenses

Christopher H. McCoy, 48, of Granite City, Illinois, was sentenced in federal district court in East St. Louis on January 27, 2012, to a total of 327 months’ (27.25 years) in prison on a five-count indictment that had charged him with enticement of a minor (count one), distribution of child pornography (count two), transfer of obscene matter to a minor (count three), receipt of child pornography (count four), and possession of child pornography (count five), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. The sentence consists of 327 months’ imprisonment on count one; 240 months’ imprisonment on counts two and four; and 120 months’ imprisonment on counts three and five, all to run concurrently. McCoy was also ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release on counts one, two, four, and five, and three years’ supervised release on count three, to run concurrently; fined $250 on each count, for a total fine of $1,250, and ordered to pay a $500 special assessment. McCoy previously pled guilty to the five-count indictment on September 19, 2011.

“It is my sincere hope, and belief, that today’s sentence means that a child predator will no longer be able to victimize the innocent. The quality police work done by the Keene (New Hampshire) Police and the Granite City Police, coupled with the cooperation of Tom Gibbons’ office (Madison County State’s Attorney), has saved the lives of any number of victims that this predator was going to molest.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton.

The violations charged in counts one through three occurred between on or about February 20 and February 27, 2010, when McCoy chatted with an undercover officer (UC) in New Hampshire that McCoy believed to be a 14-year old-boy. During the chats, McCoy asked the person he believed to be a 14-year-old boy to send nude pictures of himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct. McCoy eventually sent the boy a digital camera and cell phone so that the individual that he believed to be a 14-year-old boy could take pictures and send them to McCoy. Also during the chats, McCoy sent videos of child pornography to the UC posing as the 14-year-old boy. Finally, during one chat, McCoy sent the person he believed to be a 14-year-old boy a close-up picture of McCoy’s nude penis. After identifying McCoy as the person speaking with the UC, the New Hampshire police contacted the Granite City Police Department.

The violations referenced in counts four and five of the indictment occurred after officers contacted the defendant at his residence and seized multiple media devices, including, but not limited to, a laptop, various DVDs, and a thumb drive. A forensic analysis of these devices revealed approximately 5,571 images and 358 videos of child pornography. Approximately 1/3 of the 1,467 images and 258 videos found on the DVDs and thumb drive depicted infants to toddlers engaged in sexually explicit behavior. The remaining images and videos depicted preteen to prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit behavior. Several of the images were downloaded and transferred to the thumb drive on November 9, 2006, to include the image charged in count four of the indictment. The DVD that is the subject of count five of the indictment, which the defendant had in his possession in his home on May 5, 2011, contained numerous videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Additional evidence presented at sentencing demonstrated that McCoy had engaged in sexually explicit chats with several minor females on a social networking site. McCoy asked at least one of these minor females to send him explicit pictures of herself. He also hinted at potentially visiting two of the minor females, one of whom was only 10 years old. During one of these chats, McCoy related his fantasy of snatching a girl from a playground and, in his words, using her and then throwing her away, so that he could be as rough with her as he wanted. In another chat with a 14-year-old female, McCoy relates being sexually excited when he changed the diaper of a friend’s infant child. McCoy was eventually removed from the social networking site.

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 Keene, New Hampshire, Police Department, the Granite City Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force. The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.

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