FRESNO, Calif. — Eric Leslie, 38, of Park Ridge, Illinois, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison, to be followed by 17.5 years of supervised release, for his role in the advertising and distribution of child pornography through a website, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
On Jan. 21, 2020, Leslie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. As part of the sentence, U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd ordered Leslie to pay $3,000 in restitution to one victim.
According to court documents, from approximately October 2017 through December 2018, Leslie agreed with one or more persons to advertise child pornography and then also actually distributed to a website images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. When law enforcement officers served a search warrant at his residence in Illinois in January 2019, they recovered more than 600 images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct some of which involved violence.
This case was the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) offices in Fresno, California, Chicago, Illinois, and The Hague, Netherlands. Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Gappa prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.
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