Dark web child porn lands Illinois man 12-year prison sentence

Illinois

SPARTA, Ill.– A Randolph County man is heading to prison today after receiving a 12-year sentence on pornography charges.

Kory Schulein, 37, pled guilty earlier this year to downloading and sharing child porn on the dark web.

Court documents state the FBI became aware of Schulein during a 2018 FBI investigation into child porn on the dark web.

Federal investigators say Schulein served as a moderator of a dark website dedicated to child exploitation. Prosecutors say that Schulein has posted nearly 14,000 messages on one site, many of which included links to child exploitation images and video.

Schulein was also said to have an encrypted hard drive with more than 9,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse material.

During the sentencing, The Justice Department says United States District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn observed that the guidelines called for a lengthy sentence “because of the colossal and immensely harmful impact” child pornography has on children. 

The judge noted that some of the images and videos Schulein collected depicted children in bondage and some with adults and children together.

“You must have felt no mercy or empathy for these children you were watching being humiliated and tortured,” McGlynn told the defendant.

Some of Schulein’s victims submitted statements to the court describing how impossible it is for them to live any semblance of a normal life while images of their sexual abuse are traded online.

 “Every time someone views this trash,” one survivor wrote, “he is once again making me re-live the most horrific part of my childhood.  I  can  never  truly  heal….”  

As part of his sentence, Schulein was ordered to serve 10 years on supervised release and pay a 
$5,000 special assessment. He previously paid $12,000 in restitution to several of the victims.

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