URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A man from Melvin has been sentenced to 27 years in prison, followed by 15 years of parole, for distributing and possessing child pornography.

Richard Cruse, 37, was initially arrested by Ford County authorities and charged with two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecent Solicitation of a Child. However, upon being charged on a three-count indictment by a federal grand jury in March of 2021, he was transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, where he has remained every since. He pleaded guilty to the federal indictment earlier this year.

Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm found that Cruse had engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse and exploitation of a minor. In imposing the 27-year sentence, Mihm noted that Cruse’s actions left the victim with permanent harm. Mihm also ordered Cruse to pay $9,000 in restitution to three separate victims from the child pornography files Cruse trafficked.