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Peoria man sentenced to 15 years on child pornography charges


PEORIA (WEEK) -- A Peoria man who was already a registered sex offender was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week for downloading and possessing images and videos of children being sexually exploited.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Central District Court of Illinois, 61-year-old Nicky McDonald downloaded the images and videos using the Peoria Police Department's free wi-fi.

McDonald will remain on supervised release for a period of life following the completion of his sentence, according to the press release.

McDonald entered guilty pleas to downloading and possessing child pornography in August 2019. As he was homeless, McDonald admitted that he used the Peoria Police Department's free wi-fi to view and download the images and videos onto his phone.

McDonald was required to register as a sex offender under Illinois law after pleading guilty in 1993, to aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in Edgar County, Ill. McDonald was also convicted of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in Edgar County, Ill., in 1997.

McDonald has remained in law enforcement custody since he was arrested and charged in October 2019, in Peoria County. He was indicted on the federal charges in January 2020, and was ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Since that incident, Peoria Police have password protected their WiFi access.

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