A Rock Island man indicted on charges accusing him of molesting infants pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Shane A. Viren, 41, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 14 by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Rock Island. At that time, a fourth count of possession of child pornography is expected to be dismissed.
Mr. Viren already is a registered sex offender after being convicted, at the age of 28, of criminal sexual assault in Missouri, according to the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.
He was accused in the most recent case of photographing at least three infants in sexually explicit poses, from 2009 to 2011, while babysitting in Rock Island, according to documents filed by federal prosecutors.
An investigation was launched in March 2012 after the Rock Island Police Department received a complaint alleging that, three years before, Mr. Viren had raped a woman and taken nude photographs of her, records say.
According to the complaint, the adult victim told police she continued to have intercourse with Mr. Viren under threat he would distribute the photographs and claimed she had seen Mr. Viren with a photograph of a partially nude teen girl.
During subsequent police interviews, Mr. Viren admitted to having downloaded pornographic images of children, including toddlers, and estimated he possessed thousands of images and less than 50 videos of minors.
A thumb drive and SD card seized from Mr. Viren's home were reviewed by forensic experts at the Moline Police Department and U.S. Secret Service, and at least 334 photographs of minors were found.
Mr. Viren later confessed to police that he had taken photographs of the infants and admitted to acts of sexual abuse, court records say.
He was arrested July 17, 2013, by agents from the U.S. Secret Service.
Today is Thursday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2014. There are 132 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder. 1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.