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, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural. 1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m.. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.