Michael Gruber, the former North Riverside resident who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in Jan. 2010, had his sentencing delayed again.

On March 22, Judge James Zagel continued Gruber’s sentencing but did not name a date after Gruber’s attorney filed a response to the government’s sentencing memorandum.

In his filing, attorney Daniel E. Martin argues that Gruber, 55, should not have to pay monetary restitution to a victim whose images Gruber downloaded and disseminated on his home computer.

A sentencing memorandum delivered to the court on Jan. 11 by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald stated that two victims of child pornography sought monetary damages from Gruber. One of those victims has since withdrawn her claim.

But Martin argues that federal judges are divided on how to interpret the law allowing a victim to seek monetary restitution. Martin further argues that the law does not apply in Gruber’s case.

Fitzgerald also seeks a jail sentence of between 10 and 12.5 years. Gruber’s attorney is silent in his response regarding jail time sought by prosecutors.

Apart from considering this latest response from Gruber’s attorney, it appears that Zagel has everything else he needs to hand down a sentence.

On March 15, Martin delivered a psychological evaluation to Zagel. That report remains under seal. At that time, Zagel reset Gruber’s sentencing date to March 22.

But, on that date, Martin filed his response regarding the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.

Gruber remains free on bond, but under court-ordered curfew that restricts his access to children, computers and the Internet. A longtime employee of the Stickney fire department, Gruber now lives in Berwyn.

– Bob Uphues