U.S. Attorney’s Office
March 21, 2014
Southern District of Illinois
Baldwin Man Sentenced for Child Pornography Offenses
A Baldwin, Illinois man was sentenced in federal district court on March 21, 2014, on a three-count indictment charging him with receipt of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct (count one), access with intent to view visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct (count two), and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct (count three), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Michael A. Nieweglowski, Jr., a/k/a “Tony,” 45, was sentenced to a term of 180 months in federal prison on all counts, to run concurrently; to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release on all counts, again to run concurrently; ordered to pay $632.71 in restitution; fined $500; and ordered to pay a $300 special assessment. In addition, upon his release from prison, Nieweglowski must register as a sex offender as a condition of supervised release. Nieweglowski has been detained by the United States Marshals Service since his arraignment on May 1, 2013.
“Predators, like this person, must face long sentences if we are to protect our children from them. If anyone doubts that these individuals are a danger, that person should look at this case. My office will continue to seek appropriate sentences for those who would prey on the most vulnerable in our communities,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
The investigation began on January 14, 2011, when Nieweglowski, who had been on mandatory supervised release since at least September 10, 2010, for a predatory criminal sexual assault conviction, which was the result of Nieweglowski molesting a 5-year-old relative, was turned over to his parole officer after suspected child pornography was found on a printer in Nieweglowski’s parents’ home on December 30, 2011. On January 15, 2011, a special federal officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force seized numerous media devices from Nieweglowski’s camper trailer, which was parked next to his parents’ home, as well as the laptop computer that Nieweglowski could access in his parents’ home. Among the items seized from the defendant’s camper trailer was a PNY thumb drive.
A forensic review of the seized laptop home revealed approximately 79 visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that had been downloaded via the Internet. The PNY thumb drive was found to contain approximately 80 visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that had been transferred to the thumb drive from the laptop computer. Several of the visual depictions possessed by Nieweglowski contained images of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct as well as images of minors that depicted sadistic behavior.
Evidence introduced at the Nieweglowski’s sentencing showed that another relative came forward after Nieweglowski was charged with the molestation of the first relative and reported that Nieweglowski began molesting him/her since he/she was 5 years old and that it lasted for years. He/she did not, however, want to discuss it with the police, thus no formal charges were filed against Nieweglowski for this alleged molestation. In addition, while being transported back to an Illinois prison after violating the terms of his mandatory supervised release by viewing and downloading child pornography, Nieweglowski told his parole officer that he began looking at pornography because he was lonely and that he was “doing some of the same things he did before he was charged the first time,” with the molestation of his 5-year-old relative.
Furthermore, during an interview by a FBI special agent, Nieweglowski admitted that, once he found child pornography on the Internet, he could not stop himself from searching for and viewing child pornography. He said that he bought a thumb drive to use to save the images of child pornography because he was not always able to find it on the Internet. He would then take the images to his camper where he was able to view them through his television. Nieweglowski stated that he had an interest in pedophilia and incest.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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 individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”
The case was investigated by the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force. The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.