DECATUR — A 34-year-old Harristown man indicted on child sexual exploitation and child pornography charges appeared in federal court Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois.
Gary L. Boyle waived his detention hearing and was ordered to remain in custody, district spokeswoman Sharon Paul said in a news release. Boyle is scheduled to return to federal court for a preliminary hearing May 7.
Boyle was arrested on Feb. 21 after the Macon County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A sworn affidavit said Boyle was using a messaging app called Kik, and six images and three videos of child pornography were shared by Boyle among seven users in a group message.
Homeland Security was notified from its Ottawa, Canada attache office about the conversation and identified the user was accessing an IP address located in Boyle's home, the affidavit said. He admitted to live-streaming the videos and visiting child pornography group chats where he shares and receives pornography, the affidavit said.
Boyle appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on Wednesday and waived his right to a preliminary hearing on eight charges of predatory criminal sexual assault, six charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two charges of criminal sexual assault. He will also return to county court on May 7.
Macon County State's Attorney Jay Scott said his office has been working with the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding Boyle's case and said the reason he now faces federal charges is because federal penalties on child pornography cases are more severe than at the county level.
Boyle was indicted on seven counts of child sexual exploitation and one count of possession of child pornography. If he is convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for each count of child sexual exploitation is 30 years in prison. For possession of child pornography, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.
Paul said Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson will serve as prosecutor for the federal case. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Decatur police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police also assisted in the investigation that led to the charges against Boyle, Paul said.