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 Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men. 1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.