Former Wheaton College employee gets prison time in child porn case

 
 
Updated 5/15/2018 6:25 PM
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  • Benjamin Felker

    Benjamin Felker

A former Wheaton College employee was taken into custody Tuesday after being sentenced on a nearly two-year-old child pornography case.

Benjamin Felker, 30, of the 1000 block of Briarbrook Drive in Wheaton, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Minzer said Felker, a former geology department lab associate, was under investigation by Wheaton police in September 2016 when officers found more than 40 child porn videos and 1,500 pictures on computers and electronic devices in his house.

Minzer said Felker admitted to viewing child pornography since he was a child.

"Each one of these disgusting images represents yet another victim of child pornography. Today's sentence sends the message that my office will aggressively pursue child pornographers," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said. "I would like to stress once again that these charges are in no way connected with Mr. Felker's association with Wheaton College. Authorities at the college have been very cooperative throughout this entire case and, for that, I thank them."

Felker has been free on $40,000 bail since Sept. 30, 2016. At the completion of his sentence, Felker will be eligible for two years of parole. He is also required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

At the time of Felker's 2016 arrest, Wheaton College President Philip Ryken called the charges "troubling" and banned him from campus.

"As a Christian community, Wheaton College fundamentally opposes the production and use of pornography, especially child pornography, which by its very nature exploits and victimizes the most vulnerable," Ryken wrote, noting Felker's leave and banishment from campus.

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