Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for downloading child porn, destroying evidence

A Granite City man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for receiving child pornography and then destroying evidence of his crimes.

David C. Hogue, 32, was initially charged in February 2017 with one count of receiving child pornography after an FBI investigation traced an IP address that was sharing child pornography over the internet back to Hogue’s house, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Steven D. Weinhoeft.

Hogue was released on pretrial supervision with a number of conditions, including the remote monitoring of his internet activity by the U.S. Probation Office. Within two months of his release, the federal attorney’s office observed Hogue downloading and viewing more child pornography videos and arrested him, Weinhoeft said.

According to a release, a federal search warrant was then issued for Hogue’s computer and a forensic search showed that he was regularly running software programs that erased his hard drive contents in order to cover up his downloads of child pornography.

When questioned about specific images and videos he’d downloaded and viewed while out on bond, he responded, “How could you see that? I deleted all those files,” Weinhoeft said.

Hogue’s bond was revoked and another indictment was filed to include Hogue’s additional child pornography downloads, as well as a charge of obstruction of justice.

During the sentencing hearing, the FBI testified that the computer wiping programs Hogue used were uncommonly sophisticated. The court also heard evidence about certain admissions Hogue had made under arrest, including that he once briefly fondled an 11-year-old girl and that he entertained sexual fantasies involving a young female relative, according to a release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel said the 20-year sentence was necessary to protect the public, noting that Hogue posed a high risk of reoffending and that she had serious concerns about what might happen if he was ever allowed to be near a child unsupervised.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.