URBANA, Ill. - A local man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, including graphic images of young children held in bondage and being physically assaulted. The conviction and sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Scott Halliday, 36, of Champaign, Ill., was sentenced May 28 in the Central District of Illinois to 240 months in prison. Halliday was also ordered to remain on supervised release for 15 years after he completes his prison sentence.
Halliday has been in law enforcement custody since February, when a jury convicted him of two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. He was arrested by ICE agents in May.
At trial, the government presented evidence that Halliday received and possessed images of child pornography, including about 1½ hours of videos collected over a six-week period. The sexually explicit images included young children held in bondage and being physically assaulted.
"Child pornography victimizes the most vulnerable members of our society - our children," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "ICE relentlessly pursues predators that sexually abuse and exploit innocent children for their selfish gratification."
ICE was assisted in the investigation by the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the Champaign Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson, Central District of Illinois, prosecuted the case.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.