By JEFF LAMPE
For The Prairie News
PEORIA ‑ In a dark, cold corridor in the U.S. Courthouse Thursday morning, Jason Musselman exchanged hugs and tears with his parents.
Less than one hour later, Musselman was handcuffed and led out of Courtroom A by two U.S. Marshals after pleading guilty to three felony child pornography charges.
Musselman pleaded guilty to production, distribution and possession of child pornography and now faces 15-30 years in a federal prison, according to his attorney Kevin Sullivan of Peoria.
Judge James E. Shadid scheduled Musselman’s sentencing for March 23, 2023, at 10 a.m. Shadid also cautioned Musselman that, “the sentence imposed could be different than any estimate Mr. Sullivan has given you.”
Shadid said the maximum sentence for Musselman would be not more than 60 years and not more than $750,000 in fines.
Sullivan said by pleading guilty, Musselman effectively cut the maximum sentence in half to 30 years. Sullivan said he did not believe Musselman would face the $750,000 in fines.
Musselman will be held in a jail until his sentencing date. Sullivan said he was uncertain where Musselman would be held, noting that the U.S. Marshals contract with several Illinois correctional facilities.
Pick up a copy of the Nov. 25 issue of The Prairie News for more details.