top of page

Springfield Man Sentenced for Multiple Crimes Against Children

A Springfield, Illinois man, James Simons, 32, of the 2000 block of South 5th Street in Springfield, Illinois, was sentenced to 35 years in the Bureau of Prisons, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release on April 23, 2024.

Simons, a registered sex offender, pleaded guilty on December 20, 2023, to the charges of sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, attempted enticement of a minor, use of interstate facilities to attempt to transmit information about a minor, attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, and penalties for registered sex offenders. 

At the sentencing hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Collen R. Lawless, the government established that the defendant persuaded children to produce sexual images of themselves and send them to him for his sexual gratification. The Court further found that between August 13, 2020, and August 28, 2020, Simons communicated with an individual online he believed to be fifteen years old. Despite knowing the individual’s age, Simons discussed engaging in sexual activity with the minor, asked for the minor’s address, and sent child pornography to the child. On August 28, 2020, after confirming that the minor was alone, he asked for the child’s address and drove to the residence expecting to engage in sexual conduct; he was then arrested.

“This sentence sends a strong message to every perpetrator that the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and its law enforcement partners prioritize the protection of children and will use every resource at our disposal to ensure that the internet is not used by predators as their hunting ground.” said Assistant United States Attorney Tanner K. Jacobs.

“The FBI prioritizes investigations that protect children,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “This substantial sentence resulted from the dedicated efforts of our agents and law enforcement partners who work around the clock to stop perpetrators who harm our children.”

Simons was indicted in September 2020 and has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his arrest in August 2020.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office with assistance from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; the Springfield Police Department; and the Illinois State Police investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Tanner K. Jacobs represented the government in the prosecution.

The case against Simons was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


bottom of page