A former St. Charles middle school teacher was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography possession.
Jerome McCauley, 46, of the 300 block of Grant Street, Sycamore, faced between 30 and 150 years in prison had he been convicted of all five felony counts of possession and distribution of child pornography.
Instead, the former Wredling Middle School seventh-grade science and social studies teacher pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of child pornography possession in exchange for DeKalb County prosecutors dismissing other charges, according to court records.
McCauley, who resigned from his job after his Oct. 28, 2103, arrest in Sycamore, had no previous criminal record.
Since his arrest, he had been held on $1 million bail and receives credit for about six months served toward his sentence.
Under Illinois law, he can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior. He was transferred Friday to the Statesville Correctional Facility in Joliet, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
McCauley, a 19-year employee at the district, also coached seventh-grade volleyball and was the sponsor for Club Comix and the Game Club.
Last fall, St. Charles Unit District 303 Superintendent Donald Schlomann said school officials did not believe any of the children depicted in the pornography were former or current Wredling students.
"We did not find any other incidents in regard to children at the school," he added Monday. "Quite frankly, all of us that work in this profession are held to a different standard and expectations. Unfortunately, (McCauley) broke that public trust and he's paying the consequences."
Defense attorney Jack Donahue said McCauley also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life after his prison release and will not teach again, Donahue said.
"Because of the felony conviction alone, he can't be certified as a teacher," Donahue added.
Sycamore police said an officer assigned to an Internet crimes unit discovered in August 2013 an Internet Protocol address linked to a file-sharing network for child pornography.
Authorities tied the address to McCauley and obtained a search warrant for computers, hard drives and other equipment at McCauley's residence.
A message left at the DeKalb County State's Attorney's office was not immediately returned.