Child Porn Conviction: Outcry Over Laws

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- A Belvidere man gets ten years in prison for having one of the Stateline’s largest ever collections of child pornography.

Richard Yohn plead guilty this summer to having more than 150,000 pictures and 250 videos of child pornography on his computer. Today he was given the maximum sentence, 10 years in prison. But for the last two and a half years, during the trial, he's been living in his home, even though there's an elementary school right at the end of the block.

"I was shown pictures of a child...that was mine...that was my daughter," Yohn’s ex-wife said.

The case started in Boone County, but was eventually given to the Feds to prosecute. Yohn bonded out of jail and was allowed to live at his home during the trial as long as he wore a monitoring bracelet, but the principal of Lincoln Elementary School says police never alerted the school. Today, a judge called the number of images he had “despicable”. While the families of the victims say they're happy he got the max, they want the laws changed.

"The sentencing guidelines stop at 600 images. Mr Yohn had 155,000 images plus 250 movies of children. That sentencing guideline needs to be changed to keep up with today's technology,” said Theresa Wilson, Yohn’s ex-wife.

Belvidere Police came out this morning to actually measure how many feet Yohn’s home is from the elementary school. It's just over 1500 feet away. It takes only about five minutes to walk to the school, which is legal because if you're a sex offender in Illinois you only have to live 500 feet away from school property. It's one of the least strict residency requirements in the country.

Yohn has also been accused of sexually abusing one of his daughters. That case hasn't been prosecuted yet but the judge did consider the little girl's story during sentencing. Yohn was an executive at Chrysler when he was arrested in 2010. Police also confiscated about 20 guns from his home.


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