PRINCETON — A Sheffield man was arrested Tuesday after being found in possession of child pornography.
Illinois State Police executed a search warrant at the home of Kenneth Smith, 45, after being notified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) that he had downloaded images from the internet of girls, under the age of 10, engaged in various forms of sexual acts.
ICMEC received a report from Facebook that the images had been downloaded from a device used by Smith.
During ISP's search of Smith's home Tuesday morning, forensic examiners found hundreds of images of girls, between the ages of 5 and 7 years old, on his cellphone and electronic tablet.
Smith was taken into custody. During an interview with police, he admitted to downloading some of the images. Police say Smith told them he would look at the images and delete them when he realized they were juveniles.
These details were released in Bureau County Circuit Court on Wednesday during Bureau County State's Attorney Geno Caffarini's probable cause reading.
Smith has been charged with possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony. If found guilty, he faces anywhere from three to seven years in prison, with two years parole. He could also be sentenced to serve county jail time of up to six months or serve up to four years probation.
Smith could also be ordered to pay fines totaling anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 and have to register as a sex offender for life.
He made his first appearance on Wednesday before Judge Marc Bernabei, where his bond was set at $15,000, 10 percent to apply. The bond comes with a condition that he is not allowed to access the internet or be in possession of electronics with internet access, if bond is posted.
Smith is being represented by Assistant Public Defender Eric May, who argued for a lower bond amount for Smith due to his low flight risk. Caffarini, the prosecutor in the case, had asked that bond be set at $30,000, 10 percent to apply, with conditions, due to the seriousness of the offense.
However, May presented a number of factors that demonstrated Smith would not be at flight risk if he posted bond. Those points included Smith's history of mental illness, his unemployment due to injury, his clean criminal record, and that he lives with his family who has resided in the area for two decades.
Smith's arraignment is set for 1:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, if his case results in an indictment by the Bureau County Grand Jury.