Granite City Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 27, 2015, Steven W. Beckman, 64, Granite City, IL, was sentenced for Possession of Visual Depictions of Prepubescent Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. Beckman, who had been convicted in the Southern District of Illinois in 2006 for Receiving Child Pornography through the U.S. Mail and Possession of Child Pornography, received an increased penalty of a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 months in federal prison because of these prior convictions. Beckman was also sentenced to three years’ supervised released, fined $500, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. In addition, Beckman’s sentence must run consecutive to the sentence he received for violating his supervised release for the 2006 convictions listed above. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Beckman has been held without bond since his arraignment on July 22, 2014.
“This kind of crime is not just a pervert looking at dirty pictures.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton. “The children depicted are horribly abused and will be haunted for life. Hopefully, sentences like this one will keep offenders from robbing these children of their innocence.”
The investigation began on March 11th, 2014, when a detective with the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (“ICAC”) contacted both a United States Probation Officer who was supervising Beckman and Special Federal Officer (“SFO”) David Vucich, a member of the FBI’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force (SCETF). Investigation revealed that Beckman uploaded an image of child pornography to his Facebook page around November 29, 2013, approximately seven days after being released from imprisonment, and placed on supervised release. That same day, United States Probation Officers searched Beckman’s home and seized, among other items, approximately thirty-three compact disks (“CD-Rs”) that were 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-Rs as well as on some other electronic media taken from his home.
SFO Vucich obtained a federal search warrant for all of the electronic media seized from Beckman’s home so that the items could be forensically analyzed. SFO Vucich discovered that twenty-seven (27) CD-Rs recovered contained 187 images and 2 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 was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.