Former Boy Scout Troop Leader Sentenced to 6 1/2 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Crimes | USAO-CDIL

URBANA, Ill. – Senior U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm today sentenced former Boy Scout troop leader Milton Forsberg, 80, to serve 78 months (6 years, 6 months) in federal prison for receipt and possession of child pornography. In addition, Forsberg, of the 800 block of West Charles Street, Champaign, Ill., was ordered to pay special assessments in the amount of $10,200 for court costs as well as his contributions to a fund supporting victims of child exploitation. Forsberg has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest in October 2019.

On Aug. 14, 2020, Forsberg pleaded guilty to using a computer to receive sexually explicit images of minors and to possess child pornography. According to court records, Forsberg was a Boy Scout troop leader for 40 years. At sentencing, Forsberg did not object that the court consider allegations by three victims that Forsberg sexually molested them while they were Boy Scouts in his care.

At today’s hearing, Judge Mihm expressed his concern that Forsberg had used the Boy Scouts to access and groom young men to cause permanent harm and that he finds it hard to believe that there were only several victims. Judge Mihm further noted that because of Forsberg’s advanced age, the sentence is sufficient but not greater than necessary.  

One of the victims addressed the court today and encouraged the community to “lift the taboo or veil of secrecy and shame” that prevents victims from coming forward sooner. The victim explained that he felt scared to disclose the abuse “for decades,” and encouraged schools to offer more comprehensive education programs for children.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson prosecuted the case which was investigated by the Champaign Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

This case 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.

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