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Former Ice Skating Coach Jailed On Child Porn Charges

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A north suburban man who formerly coached ice skating was taken into federal custody Monday to begin serving a 14-year prison sentence for possessing child pornography.

Edward Bernas, 63, of Mundelein, pleaded guilty in October to using his personal computer to store child pornography in 2007 and 2008, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

A sexual interest in “young girls has been part of your life for decades,” U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer told Bernas before ordering him to serve 168 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

In February 2008, Bernas was found to have at least 500 still images and 15 videos of child porn on his computer, including images of children engaged in explicit sexual conduct, the release said.

Bernas, formerly of Naperville, coached children in competitive ice skating in Downers Grove in the 1980s before being convicted in DuPage County of criminal sexual abuse and indecent liberties with a child in 1985. He was sentenced to two years’ probation, the release said.

A victim in that case testified at Bernas’ federal sentencing that he earned her trust, lured her into his home and molested her.

The prison term was imposed last Tuesday and Judge Pallmeyer ordered Bernas to return to court Monday and pay $1,000 restitution to an identified victim whose images were stored on his computer, the release said.

Bernas faced a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20, and must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.


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(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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