EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. ( KMOV) -- A Belleville man Tuesday pleaded guilty to child pornography.
Thomas Smith, 27, of Belleville, will be sentenced on a felony charge of receipt of child pornography.
Smith will serve at minimum five years in prison and pay a $250 thousand fine. He will also face a term of at least five years of supervised released.
According to police, Smith was viewing child pornography on a public computer inside the Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) library.
The incident occurred in October 2010 after Smith was found by a SWIC public safety officer viewing child pornography on a computer. He was also downloading the content to two MP3 players.
When authorities reviewed one of Smith's MP3 players, images of prepubescent females were found.
During his trial, Smith admitted to viewing a pornographic website on the school’s computer for about 15 minutes. He also said he downloaded hundreds of photographs of young girls ages 10 to 15 years old.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 27 in East St. Louis. Smith was detained a pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by the SWIC Department of Public Safety, the St. Clair County
Sheriff’s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force.
It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit