Five federal charges filed against New Berlin man

By Benjamin Cox on April 15, 2019 at 11:31am

A federal trial date in June has been scheduled for the New Berlin man accused of child pornography possession. 57 year old Scott A. Gentry, of New Berlin appeared in federal court on Friday, April 12th for arraignment on federal child pornography charges.

The federal indictment, returned by the grand jury on April 2, had remained sealed pending Gentry’s arrest and transfer of the case to federal court. That day, Gentry appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long who ordered that Gentry remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Trial for Gentry was scheduled on June 18, 2019, before Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow in Urbana.

The charges in Macon County were dismissed without prejudice on Friday due to the case now falling under federal jurisdiction. 5 counts have been filed in the federal case against Gentry.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for all three counts for receipt of child pornography is 5 to 20 years in prison each, and a fine of up to $250,000. The penalty for each of two counts possession of child pornography is up to 20 years in prison each and a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson will represent the government in prosecution.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Macon County Sheriff’s office, the Sangamon County Sheriff’s office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

The 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 U.S. 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.