Columbia, Ill. (KMOV) – A former Columbia, Ill. resident who was a member of the Navy Reserves was sentenced and ordered to pay fines for two child pornography charges.
Neil E. Purdy, 30, was sentenced for receiving and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison on both counts, to run concurrently, to be followed by a 10 year term of supervised release on each count, also to run concurrently. Purdy was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine on each count and a $200 special assessment. Purdy must register as a sex offender as a condition of his supervised release.
An individual contacted the Columbia Police Department on Feb. 7, 2012 to report that Purdy molested his/her 14-year-old child. The victim’s parent told police they saw him “google” the phrase, “where can I find really young porn”.
Throughout the investigation, it was revealed the victim no longer lived at home because the victim felt the parent could no longer protect the child.
Nine days after the victim and parent came forward, Purdy provided a voluntary, videotaped statement to officers in which he admitted to molesting the child, stating he “had a problem”. He was jailed for 180 days in the Monroe County Jail for criminal sexual abuse relating to the charges.
Authorities said there was evidence introduced at Purdy’s sentencing that he was trying to receive administrative leave from the Navy Reserves before they discovered the criminal charges so he could avoid a dishonorable discharge.
Purdy admitted to officers he was in possession of videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on his laptop. He told police he used a file sharing program to search for videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Police said the videos and images were mostly of girls between the ages of 4 and 13-years-old.
The case was investigated by the Columbia, Ill. Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force.