PEORIA, Ill. –U.S. District Judge James Shadid has sentenced a Peoria man, Nicky McDonald, who is a registered sex-offender, to 15 years in prison for downloading and possessing images and videos of children being sexually exploited. In addition, at sentencing, on Feb. 11, 2021, Judge Shadid ordered that McDonald, 61, remain on supervised release for a period of life following the completion of his prison term.
On Oct. 26, 2020, McDonald entered guilty pleas to downloading and possessing child pornography in August 2019. At the time of the offense, McDonald was homeless and living at the Peoria Rescue Mission at 601 SW Adams St., across the street from the Peoria Police Department. McDonald admitted that he used the free Peoria Police Department Wi-Fi to view and download child pornography on his cellphone.
At the time of the crimes, McDonald was required to register as a sex offender under Illinois law after pleading guilty in 1993, to aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in Edgar County, Ill. McDonald was also convicted of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in Edgar County, Ill., in 1997.
McDonald has remained in law enforcement custody since he was arrested and charged in October 2019, in Peoria County. He was indicted on the federal charges in January 2020, and was ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The U.S. Secret Service; the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Peoria Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Morris represented the federal government in the case prosecution in coordination with the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office.