LaGrange Park man gets 12.5 years for child porn

Judge sides with prosecutor on length of sentence

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By Bob Uphues

Editor

A U.S. District Court judge, on Aug. 9, sided with federal prosecutors and sentenced a LaGrange Park man to 12 and a half years in prison for electronically distributing more than 100 images of child pornography from his home computer between 2010 and 2011.

Nathan Arger, 34, in a deal with prosecutors, pleaded guilty to one count of a two-count indictment against him in August 2012. He had also been charged with possessing child pornography.

Since pleading guilty, Arger has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago while a string of sentencing hearings were postponed. Federal prosecutors had pushed for Judge Amy J. St. Eve to sentence Arger to 12-16 years in prison, while Arger's attorney argued for a lesser sentence, saying that Arger had already "suffered public humiliation for this prosecution, [and] will suffer a lifelong stigma for this offense, especially given the state and federal reporting requirements."

Carol A. Brook, an attorney from the federal defender program, added that Arger will be limited as to future employment prospects.

"These collateral consequences of his offenses will extend far beyond any term of incarceration he will be required to serve," Brook wrote in her sentencing position paper, which was submitted to the court in July.

But St. Eve looked more favorably on the conclusions drawn by federal prosecutor Gary Shapiro, who emphasized the massive nature of Arger's collection of child pornographic images — more than 66,000 photos and nearly 3,000 videos. Shapiro also argued that Arger displayed an interest in engaging in a "contact offense" with a minor and had sought out documents justifying and instructing how to engage in sexual contact with children.

"What these instances nonetheless represent are indications of a growing desire on [Arger's] part to engage in actual inappropriate contact with real children to which [he] had ready access," Shapiro wrote in his response to Brook's sentencing position paper in July.

At the time of his arrest by FBI agents in September 2011, Arger was a part-time, non-faculty radio and television station employee at Lyons Township High School. The FBI stated that he was not accused of illegal activity involving any LTHS students or school equipment.

In the wake of his arrest, Arger was fired from his job at the school and neighbors complained of his presence to the point that a 24-hour police patrol monitored his home so neighbors would feel safe, according to Brook.

Police reportedly delivered, door-to-door, a flier containing Arger's photo, name, address and charges in order to notify neighbors of his presence in the area. Neighbors would call police when they saw him doing yard work, Brook stated, and he would have to show them federal documents proving he had a right to be there.

In addition to the prison sentence, Arger must remain under court supervision for five years after his release.

In addition, Arger was one of 182 defendants named in a federal class-action lawsuit filed in Maryland in May by a woman named Jane Doe on behalf of two children who were victims of child pornography.

The two girls, according to the complaint were 4 and 6 years old when they were "forced to engage in various sexual acts with their father and his friend in front of a camera."

Those images were possessed and traded by Arger and others, the suit contends.

The lawsuit seeks $8 million in compensatory damages and $24 million in punitive damages from the defendants.

Contact:
Email: buphues@wjinc.com Twitter: @RBLandmark

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