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Retired Illinois State Trooper Pleads Guilty To Child Porn Charges

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Juan Rodriguez (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff)

Juan Rodriguez (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff)

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UPDATED 06/14/11 6:51 p.m.

WHEATON, Ill. (STMW/WBBM) — The admissions came as retired trooper Juan Rodriguez pleaded guilty to child pornography and official misconduct charges.

A former Illinois State Police trooper admitted Tuesday using his department-issued laptop computer to view child pornography while on duty, telling investigators he initially browsed the websites because he was “bored.” WBBM’s Debra Dale has the story.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Debra Dale Reports

Though the 51-year-old Rodriguez had faced up to five years in prison, his plea deal with DuPage County prosecutors calls for him to receive a 60-day jail term and be placed on probation for 30 months when he is sentenced in July.

That sentence also would require Rodriguez, who remains free on bail, to register for life as a sex offender and undergo a sex offender evaluation. His felony convictions are expected to cost him the pension he accrued during his 27 years as a state trooper, officials said.

Rodriguez sometimes visited child porn websites while he was on duty patrolling highways and tollways in northern Illinois, authorities said.

“He used his Illinois State Police laptop to view the images,” prosecutor Helen Kapas said.

Rodriguez came under scrutiny after he used his credit card in 2008 to buy access to a purported child porn website set up by a federal agency as part of a sting operation.

The veteran trooper was on duty at the time he paid the $99 fee to obtain access to the site, Kapas said.

Investigators ultimately used his credit-card information to identify Rodriguez as a state trooper, though he retired from the department last March — about three months before he was charged with official misconduct and child pornography.

Rodriguez told investigators he first browsed child porn sites in 2003 because he had extra time on his hands while at work, Kapas said.

“He was bored and started accessing child porn sites,” Kapas said.

Rodriguez admitted he ultimately became “obsessed” with the pornography, though he claimed to visit such sites only “two or three times a year.”

Calling the plea deal “reasonable,” defense attorney Brian Telander said sparing Rodriguez a prison term “took into account his 27 years of exemplary service” as a state trooper.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011 and WBBM contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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