Peoria Police Officer to be Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography

PEORIA, Illinois — A former Peoria police officer found guilty last year of possessing child pornography will know soon what his sentence is.

The sentencing hearing for John McCavitt, 36, was to conclude Friday, but for more than two hours, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian FitzSimons picked apart a sexual offender evaluation, saying it was incomplete, not done according to state requirements and possibly biased. Sex offender evaluations are required and are intended to give the judge and the probation department a sense if a defendant is at a low or a high risk of re-offending.

Joshua Kutnick, McCavitt’s attorney, disagreed and argued the report was fair, not biased toward his client, and that its only flaw was that it didn’t give prosecutors the information they wanted. He also suggested that prosecutors wanted to delay the hearing as some of their witnesses weren’t present. In the end, Judge Albert Purham Jr. opted to order a new evaluation and set a Dec. 1 date for the continuation of the hearing.

However, on Friday afternoon, witnesses for both the state and McCavitt were to testify.

McCavitt was found guilty on July 14, 2016, of 15 of the 17 counts of child pornography and aggravated child pornography possession he faced. He now faces at least six and up to either 14 or 28 years in prison. The top end is up for argument as both sides disagree on the maximum sentence. He is also eligible for probation.

Evidence presented during the four-day trial in July 2016 showed that the images, said to be in the thousands, were on his computer at some point between April 2011 and July 2013, when the computer was seized by police. He was arrested on sexual assault charges but was acquitted at a jury trial in March 2014. After that verdict, the images were found by a Peoria police computer expert during the department’s internal investigation. Only a few images were found intact. Most were in fragments and pieces because of the program that McCavitt had used to delete them.

McCavitt was fired about a week after his conviction for possession of child pornography.

He also has an unauthorized videotaping case pending that could add an additional three years onto any sentence he receives in the possession of child pornography case.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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