St. Charles man faces prison for child porn, drug charges

Updated 3/17/2014 4:09 PM
  • Gary L. Harris

    Gary L. Harris

A 52-year-old St. Charles man faces prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography and felony marijuana charges.

Gary L. Harris, of the 1800 block of Howard Street, faces anywhere from probation to 14 years in prison when sentenced by Judge Karen Simpson June 11, according to Kane County court records.

Harris surrendered to police in October 2012 after being charged with numerous felonies, including possession of child pornography of victims younger than 13, possession with intent to deliver cocaine within 1,000 feet of a park -- in this case Fairview Park at South 19th and Oak Streets -- and possession of between 30 grams and 500 grams of marijuana.

St. Charles police said they began investigating in May 2012 after Downers Grove and Naperville police linked him to sharing child pornography over the Internet. Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of child pornography and the felony marijuana charge in exchange for more serious charges, such as the cocaine allegation, being dismissed by prosecutors on Friday.

If convicted of the cocaine charge, Harris faced six to 30 years in prison without the chance of probation.

Harris entered a "blind plea" or "cold plea," in which a defendant pleads guilty without agreeing to a sentence with prosecutors and instead leaves that up to a judge.

Simpson will weigh aggravating factors against mitigating factors when she issues Harris' sentence.

Defense attorney Kathleen Colton said police seized 36 grams of marijuana and .8 of a gram of cocaine from Harris' residence.

Colton said Harris has no previous criminal history and she will ask for four years of probation in two consecutive terms for Harris.

"He has no criminal record anywhere," Colton said. "He's employed, he's married. He cooperated fully with police."

Harris was released shortly after his arrest after posting $10,000 bond. He will have to register as a sex offender and serve 85 percent of any prison term.

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