A total of eight self-identified "boy lovers" have been convicted after meeting several underage males in a hotel in Skokie, federal officials announced today.
The incident happened three years ago, with a Crest Hill man sentenced to 120 years in prison. Six of the eight defendants pleaded guilty and three of them cooperated against others, while the Crest Hill man and a Missouri defendant were convicted after separate trials, authorities said.
“The sentences in these cases reflect the stark reality that defendants who prey upon children by sexually exploiting or abusing them will be punished severely,” said Gary S. Shapiro, acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
The following defendants have been charged:
Mark McGill, 27, of Crest Hill, was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by 20 years’ supervised release, on Oct. 9. McGill was convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography after a trial in March of this year. Evidence at McGill’s trial showed that he had attended at least one party with other “boy lovers,” authorities said. In Aug. 2009, McGill gave a cooperating defendant a thumb drive containing approximately 3,500 images and nearly 60 videos containing child pornography, federal officials said.
Jose Garcia, 25, of Schererville, Ind., sentenced to 33 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, on July 23. Garcia, who cooperated, pleaded guilty to producing, possessing, and distributing child pornography;
Jacob Elliott, 32, of Matteson, sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years’ supervised release, by U.S. District Judge John Grady on July 18. Elliott, who cooperated, pleaded guilty to producing and possessing child pornography;
Corey Stinefast, 30, of Kenosha, Wis., was sentenced to 18 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, on June 13. Stinefast pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography, and he was found to have amassed a collection of more than 191,000 images of child pornography, officials said.
Neal Maschke, 42, of Chicago, was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by five years’ supervised release, in Oct. 2010. Maschke pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.
Donald Peppers, 38, of Hoffman Estates, sentenced to 27 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, in Dec. 2010. Peppers, who cooperated, pleaded guilty to producing, transporting, and possessing child pornography, including an admission that he had produced a video of himself sexually molesting a 1-year-old child, officials said. Peppers’ arrest and subsequent cooperation touched off the investigation that resulted in the other prosecutions.
Garcia and Maschke were arrested when they showed-up for what they believed was going to be a “boy lovers” party at a Skokie hotel in Sept. 2009, authorities said. However, the hotel "party" was in fact a sting operation, according to officials.
McGill and Stinefast were arrested a short time later. Two other defendants, Michael Martin and Matthew Klopfenstine, were convicted in Federal Courts in St. Louis and Kansas City, respectively, based on evidence gathered during this investigation. Martin was sentenced last year to 120 years in prison for producing child pornography, and Klopfenstine was sentenced recently to 15 years and eight months for producing child pornography.