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Aurora man gets three years in prison for child porn
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Steven W. Pounders


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Published: 7/29/2009 3:20 PM

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After police nabbed Steven W. Pounders with two dozen pornographic videos of children, the Aurora man said he didn't realize much of the explicit materials depicted minors.

A DuPage County judge didn't buy the excuse.

Pounders, 50, was sentenced this week to three years in prison after his earlier guilty plea to possession and the attempted distribution of child pornography.

He admitted to having a penchant for pornography, but said the images of children often popped up without his prompting as he perused the Internet for adult movies. Pounders said he is a pack rat who saved all the videos on his computer without much thought.

He faced a possible sentence of probation or up to seven years in prison. DuPage Circuit Judge George Bakalis described the graphic videos, which include children as young as 2.

"Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of these cases," Bakalis said. "These videos are perhaps some of the most violent I've had to watch in years."

The investigation began Sept. 8, 2006, when officials with the Illinois Attorney General's office searched Web sites they said are known to offer child pornography. Authorities said they found 24 videos, including some hard copies, as well as marijuana and a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun during a search of Pounders' computer and home on the 0-100 block of Brexton Lane on Aurora's far east side.

"This wasn't a one-time mistake. This was conscious choice," Assistant DuPage State's Attorney Kenneth Tatarelis said. "If it weren't for the defendants, and others like him, perhaps these children wouldn't be placed in such physical and emotional pain."

The defense attorney, Matthew McQuaid, sought probation. He noted Pounders did cooperate with police and, if freed, has his job as a mold polisher waiting for him. McQuaid said Pounders is being punished. He'll be a felon and registered sex offender for life and has been in jail for several months.

Pounders, formerly of Hanover Park and Roselle, also apologized.

"I've brought shame to myself and my family," he said. "I can honestly say to you and the Lord up above, that this will never happen again."

Pounders, married three times with two adult children, has a seventh-grade education and was raised by an alcoholic father, according to court records. He admitted having a history of alcohol and drug use.

Prosecutors said his criminal past included two arrests for theft, two for drunken driving and seven for driving with a revoked license. Pounders, who was sentenced Tuesday, is eligible for parole after serving half of the three-year prison term.