Alton man pleads guilty after cameras found hidden in church

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – An Alton man pleaded guilty Friday to child pornography charges, the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

According to court documents, Bethalto police were called to Zion Lutheran Church on the evening of December 24, 2015, after several unauthorized cameras were found throughout the church. The cameras had been hidden in several locations, including the changing area in the church sacristy.

Over the course of their investigation, police discovered evidence that several individuals at the church had been recorded without their knowledge. These recordings were made between June and December 2015.

Police identified a suspect, 60-year-old David L. Von Bergen, and took him into custody.

Von Bergen pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution.

Von Bergen’s son, David J. Von Bergen, was sentenced in January 2017 to 80 years in prison after admitting to making videos in which he committed sexual acts with two children under the age of 10.