Crime & Courts

Former Harvard city clerk sentenced to probation for child porn possession

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

A former Harvard city clerk and amusement park employee who was found in possession of a USB drive containing child pornography was sentenced on Thursday to probation.

Andrew Wells, 57, will serve 24 months of sex offender probation for possession of child pornography. As a condition of that sentence, Wells must complete sex offender counseling and 50 hours of community service, McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge said.

While handing down the sentence Thursday, Coppedge noted that Wells has a limited criminal history and was unlikely re-offend.

Wells was found guilty on Dec. 5 after a three-day bench trial, which is heard by a judge without a jury. Charges were filed against Wells in 2016 after a co-worker at what was the former Donley's Wild West Town found child pornography on a flash drive that was located in Wells' office space.

Though Wells had a desk on Wild West Town property, he was employed officially as a cook at the restaurant adjacent to the amusement park, and was an employee of the nearby Village Hall Banquets.

Throughout the trial, there was no evidence proving that Wells personally searched for or downloaded the multiple lewd images of underage girls that allegedly were saved to his device. Coppedge ultimately determined, however, that it was unlikely Wells overlooked the clearly pornographic file names saved among dozens of Wells’ personal documents.

Wells now must register for life as a sex offender, and his computer use will be monitored.

Wells' current employer at a factory in Harvard submitted a letter to the judge in which he described Wells as an "extremely hard worker," Wells' attorney, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, said.

Another friend of Wells' also wrote a letter speaking to the longtime Harvard resident's "character and integrity," Coppedge said.

Based on the advice of his attorney, Wells' chose not to make a statement on his own behalf during Thursday's sentencing while an appeal of his conviction is ongoing.

"My client maintains his innocence and we filed our notice to appeal after the sentence was imposed," Mourelatos said.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.