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Child porn charges filed against Sycamore man

Published: Sunday, May 12, 2013 2:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013 9:19 a.m. CDT
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Andrew G. Thompson, 26, of the 1100 block of Jenny Drive in Sycamore, was released on bond Friday.

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore police investigation that began with a tip from a national child advocacy center has resulted in child pornography charges against a Sycamore man.

Sycamore police arrested Andrew G. Thompson, 26, of the 1100 block of Jenny Drive in Sycamore, on Thursday after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on April 25.

Thompson was released on bond Friday afternoon.

Sycamore Detective Sgt. Rod Swartzendruber said Sunday that the department occasionally receives tips from the center, which are then forwarded to the department's Internet crimes investigator.

The center has software that can detect when a computer user is downloading child pornography, Swartzendruber said. That information was passed to Sycamore police, who continued the investigation through subpoenas.

Swartzendruber said a search of Thompson's home north of Sycamore uncovered 11 files considered child pornography on a computer owned by Thompson.

"We're going to forensically examine his computer and the evidence we took," Swartzendruber said. "It's possible more charges could be filed later."

State law distinguishes among different types of child pornography – and their penalties – depending on the age of the victims and the format of the material.

The child pornography charges against Thompson are Class 3 felonies, which under Illinois' child pornography law carry a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $100,000. This particular charge is made when the violations do not involve "a film, videotape, or other moving depiction," according to Illinois criminal code.

If convicted, Thompson faces two to five years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years upon being released.

Swartzendruber said he did not know whether all of the files were pictures. He said the victims appeared to be under the age of 18.

Swartzendruber said Thompson is a full-time student, but he did not identify which school.

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