Former Bartlett, Illinois official punished for possessing child porn

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A former vice president of the Bartlett Park District in Illinois, United States was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 200 hours of community service for possession of child pornography. Charles Rowe, a 61-year-old commissioner of the park district since 2001, was also fined US$1,000 and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The investigation against Mr. Rowe began in September 2007 when PayPal tipped law enforcement authorities of the illegal purchase. On July 22, 2008, Bartlett police officers and federal agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant on his home and seized his computers. He was later arrested on December 10 and was charged with two Class 3 felony counts of possession of child pornography. He posted the minimum 10% of his US$100,000 bond and was released from the DuPage County jail the next day, when he effectively resigned from his post on the park district board. He pleaded guilty to one of the two counts on November 30, 2009.

The crime apparently did not use park district computers. Mr. Rowe was first elected to the board in 2001 and was reelected to a second six-year term in 2007. A background check done on him after his election revealed no previous criminal record.