A 59-year-old Aurora man arrested more than three years ago on felony child pornography charges was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor of obscene material possession.
The defense attorney for Thomas W. Babicki, of the 1400 block of Crestwood Drive, said a computer hard drive crashed while authorities were doing a forensic search of his client's computer.
"(Police) got all their initial stuff (from a search warrant). But when they went to do a detailed forensic examination of the computer, the hard drive got destroyed," attorney Stuart Petersen said. "There were some evidence issues. That's what it boiled down to."
Babicki and his son, Joel Babicki, 30, were arrested in October 2010 in Aurora and charged with numerous counts of possession of child pornography.
Thomas Babicki pleaded guilty last week to possession of obscene material with intent to distribute.
He must pay $2,210 in fines and court costs. If he violates probation, he can be resentenced to up to 364 days in jail.
In exchange for the guilty plea prosecutors dismissed 19 felony child pornography charges. Thomas Babicki had no previous criminal offenses in Kane County, records show.
Joel Babicki, also of the 1400 block of Crestwood Drive, faces nine felony counts of child pornography possession, the most serious of which carries a maximum seven-year prison term.
Defense attorney David Camic said Joel Babicki also has an agreement worked out to plead guilty to lesser charges, most likely at his Feb. 21 court appearance.
"We waited until the other case was over in case my client needed to provide testimony (against his father) regarding the facts of the case," Camic said.