A Carmi man who lived just a short distance from the Carmi-White County High School has been sentenced to fifty years in prison for producing child pornography. Charles E. Pugh, 37 of Renshaw Avenue in Carmi appeared in White County Circuit Court Monday morning, November 25 and entered a guilty plea to a class-X felony charge of child pornography production. Additionally, Pugh plead guilty to four class-2 felony counts of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to five years in prison on each count. The five year sentences will be served consecutive to the thirty year sentence for a total of fifty years. Wabash County Resident Judge William C. Hudson presided at Pugh's sentencing.
“The children depicted in the child pornography were under the age of 13,” said White County State's Attorney Denton Aud. “I cannot praise enough the work of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in investigating Mr. Pugh's heinous crimes. The repeated victimization of children in such an evil way is truly hard to comprehend.”
Pugh was arrested October 15 after agents of the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Carmi City Police raided his 726 Renshaw Avenue home. At the time of the raid, police reported seizing numerous “electronic items” as evidence. Pugh had been held in the Carmi-White County jail since his arrest under $100,000 bond.
In addition to prison time, the judge ordered Pugh to pay $7,814 in various fines, fees and court costs. The total includes a $6,000 fine, a $500 child porn assessment, a $520 State Police Operations assessment, and a $200 sexual assault fee.
After Pugh is released from prison, he will have to serve another three years to life on parole on the class-X conviction and two more years of parole on the class-2 felony conviction. He will also be placed on the Illinois State Police Sex Offender Registry. Judge Hudson did give Pugh credit for 41 days he has spent in the local jail pending the disposition of his case.
Court records show Pugh has no prior felony arrests or conviction in White County. Before his arrest for child porn, Pugh had acquired only two traffic tickets in White County during 2017. In Lawrence County, Pugh received six months of court supervision in 2003 on a misdemeanor battery conviction and a 30 day jail sentence for battery in 2004. Court records show the 30 day county jail sentence was stayed.
Pugh was represented by White County Public Defender Brian Shinkle.
The Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is an agency of the Illinois Attorney General's office as part of the state's Child Exploitation Task Force.