CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for sharing child pornography in an online chat room.
BENNY L. BUTLER, 36, possessed more than 2,800 videos and more than 7,600 images of child pornography on multiple electronic devices. Butler in 2017 shared several videos and images with users of Chatstep, an anonymous online chat room service.
Butler pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of transportation of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood on Tuesday sentenced Butler to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, to be followed by 20 years of court-supervised release. Judge Wood also ordered Butler to pay $47,000 in restitution to the known victims depicted in the child pornography he shared.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Angie Salazar, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Homeland Security Investigations. The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service provided valuable assistance.
“It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of defendant’s conduct and the need for just punishment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant not only possessed a staggering amount of child pornography, but also distributed, downloaded, and traded child pornography with others online.”