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Child Exploitation
04/15/2013

Illinois woman sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for producing child porn for rent money

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A local woman was sentenced Monday to nearly 22 years in federal prison for producing child pornography for rent money.

This lengthy prison sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Lincoln, Ill., Police Department.

Laura Sigler, 26, was sentenced April 15 by U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough to serve 262 months (21 years, 10 months) in federal prison for producing child pornography. After she completes her prison term, Judge Myerscough ordered Sigler to remain under supervised release for life.

Sigler has been detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since her arrest in March 2012, along with co-defendant Anthony L. Ferguson, 25.

In December 2012, Sigler pleaded guilty to producing child pornography with a 5-year-old child in November 2011 when Sigler and Ferguson were living at the Budget Inn in Lincoln, Ill. According to court documents, Ferguson and Sigler used the child pornography images to secure rent money. Ferguson pleaded guilty to the offense in July 2012 and was sentenced in January 2013 to 235 months (19 years and seven months) in prison.

Sigler and Ferguson were each ordered to remain on supervised release for life after they complete their respective prison terms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass, Central District of Illinois, prosecuted this case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.