East St. Louis Resident Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 2, 2014, Steven W. Beckman, 64, East St. Louis, IL, pled guilty to an Indictment charging him with Possession of Visual Depictions of Prepubescent Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. Because Beckman has a similar prior conviction, he faces an increased penalty of not less than ten years but not more than twenty years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life. Beckman’s sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2015. Beckman has been held without bond since his arraignment on July 22, 2014.
The investigation began in March, 2014, when a detective with the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted an investigation which indicated that Beckman uploaded an image of child pornography to his Facebook page. Beckman was on federal supervised release for convictions from 2006 for child pornography offenses.
That same day, United States Probation Officers searched Beckman’s home and seized, among other items, approximately twenty-seven compact disks found in various areas of the house. When asked whether he possessed child pornography on any of the electronic media seized from his home, Beckman stated that there was child pornography mixed into the CD’s as well as on some other electronic media taken from his home.
Results from a federal search warrant revealed that twenty-seven CD’s recovered from the Beckman’s home contained images and video files of minors engaged in sexually explicit behavior, with the majority of the images depicting prepubescent males.
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 Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the United States Probation Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.