Livingston County man sentenced to 210 months in prison for possession of child pornography | USAO-CDIL

PEORIA, Ill. – A campus, Illinois, male, Dakota Flint, 23, of the 200 block of Sheldon Avenue, was sentenced today to 17.5 years, followed by 20 years of probation, for possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge James Shadid ordered the federal sentence to be served concurrently with Livingston County Circuit Court Cases 20-CF-162 and 21-CF-6, Illinois, where Flint has was convicted of aggravated felony sexual assault and predatory felony sexual assault, respectively. Flint must also register as a sex offender.

During the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Flint operated on the dark web under the username “acidman.” Flint used websites he accessed to distribute child pornography and to discuss the practice of direct sexual offenses. Flint also questioned how to put children to sleep and bragged about assaults he had done or planned to do. After Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) located Flint, his electronics were confiscated and a forensic analysis was conducted, revealing that he was responsible for over 4,000 child pornography images. The analysis further revealed images and videos taken by Flint of underage young females. The ensuing investigation resulted in Flint’s conviction in three sexual assault cases in Livingston County. At least one image and video produced and released by Flint on the “dark web” has been in the possession of people under investigation or charged in other districts.

Also at the hearing, Judge James Shadid found that Flint’s possession and distribution of child sexual abuse images contributed to the psychological harm and trauma suffered by child victims whose images are doctored online. . Judge Shadid said Flint’s use of the dark net to try to conceal his online activities and identity was a factor he considered in imposing the sentence.

Flint was originally charged in June 2020 and pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2022. He has remained in the custody of US Marshals since his indictment.

The legal penalties for possession of child pornography are up to 20 years in prison and up to life on probation.

HSI investigated the matter, along with the Livingston County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office; Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office; Coal City, Ill., Police Department; and Dwight, Illinois, Police Department. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the HSI Cyber ​​Crimes Center also participated in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald L. Hanna and Paul B. Morris represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Flint was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Justice Department initiative to address the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

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