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Feds charge sheriff's sergeant in child porn case

Caption
Gregory M. Pyle.

ROCKFORD – A McHenry County sheriff's sergeant accused of sexually assaulting a child has been arrested again, this time on federal charges that he produced child pornography and distributed it over the Internet.

Gregory M. Pyle, 36, who has worked for the sheriff's department for more than 10 years, was taken into custody Tuesday and ordered held without bond until a detention hearing Friday. Formerly of Crystal Lake, Pyle has been living in Crest Hills, near Joliet.

Pyle, who had been head of the evidence division since June 2010, was relieved of his law enforcement duties and placed on administrative leave shortly after his first arrest in January.

According to federal court documents, a person under investigation for child pornography identified the user names of other people with whom he had traded child pornography over the Internet. Pyle allegedly was identified as the person using two of those names under which sexually explicit images, including of a minor child, were transmitted.

During an interview with authorities, the minor said Pyle had sexually abused him on multiple occasions, including on a trip to Wisconsin.

According to the criminal complaint, Pyle traveled to Wisconsin in December 2008 with the boy, then 10 years old, with the intent to engage in a sexual act with him and produce child pornography, which was then transmitted through the Internet.

Besides 10 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child that Pyle faces in McHenry County, he was charged in federal court with aggravated sexual abuse of a child and producing child pornography by sexual exploitation of a child.

Crossing a state line to engage in a sexual act with a minor under 12 carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison. Sexual exploitation of a child under 12 years of age for the purpose of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Both counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine. If convicted, the actual sentence will be determined by a United States District Court judge guided by the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Pyle, who was one of four officers specializing in cases that require computer and Internet forensic work, has been receiving pay for benefit time earned while with the department, according to Sheriff Keith Nygren. That means he is being paid for unused vacation and sick and personal days.

Nygren could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Pyle's next scheduled court date on the local charges is Sept. 10. His attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, saying the indictment was not specific enough. c

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