Man gets three years in prison for possession of child pornography

January 8

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announce that a former volunteer band instructor from Naperville Central High School was sentenced to three years in prison today (Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009) for possessing pornographic digital images of a 15-year-old girl.

Mark Bernal 35, of Chicago, pleaded guilty on Nov. 7 in front of Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak to three counts of possession of child pornography. As part of his sentence, Bernal also must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Bernal arranged to have pornographic photographs of the teen-ager taken, but he did not shoot the images himself. The images were retrieved from his digital camera in February 2005.

The case was jointly prosecuted by State’s Attorney Glasgow’s Computer Crimes Unit and Attorney General Madigan’s office.

State’s Attorney Glasgow thanked the victim and her family for their courage and cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this difficult case.

“Through their persistence and resolve, we are able to protect society by putting this predator behind bars,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Bernal also will be placed permanently on the public sex offender registry so concerned parents can take the necessary steps to protect their children in the future.”

“Individuals like Bernal pose particular dangers because they betray the trust of parents, school officials and, most importantly, our children,” Attorney General Madigan said. “I am pleased that we could work collaboratively with Will County officials to put him behind bars.”

The case against Bernal was prosecuted by Will County Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor and Illinois Assistant Attorney General Dan Spillman.