Crime & Courts

Trial date set for former Harvard city clerk facing child porn charges

Andrew Wells, 57, of Harvard
Andrew Wells, 57, of Harvard

The trial of a former Harvard city clerk, who in 2016 was accused of possessing child pornography, could begin Monday afternoon.

Andrew Wells, 57, is scheduled for a bench trial on three counts of child pornography, an offense punishable by as many as five years in prison. A bench trial is heard by a judge and not a jury.

Wells’ arrest was the result of a three-month investigation led by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators began to suspect the former city clerk after receiving a tip from a resident, police said at the time. The investigation ultimately led to a search of an electronic device, which belonged to Wells and allegedly housed images containing child pornography.

The situation came to a head when police arrested Wells at his office in September 2016. He posted bond shortly afterward and was released from the McHenry County Jail.

The longtime city clerk has since been replaced, and the position now is held by Lori Moller.

Wells remained free on bond Friday afternoon, and his attorney could not be reached for comment. It’s unclear whether prosecutors previously had offered to resolve the case by way of a negotiated plea.

Wells originally was scheduled to have a trial by jury, but he waived that right Tuesday and chose instead to proceed with a bench trial, meaning that the verdict will be in the hands of the presiding judge.

The trial is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock.

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