Plainville man charged with child pornography agrees to plea, will be sentenced in December


Joshua Cress, right, sits next to Public Defender Christopher Pratt during a hearing in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning. | David Adam

QUINCY — A Plainville man facing charges of child pornography from arrests in January and March will be sentenced in December.

Joshua D. Cress, 43, of 371 Main in Plainville appeared in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning morning with Public Defender Christopher Pratt before Judge Tad Brenner.  

Cress’ case had been scheduled for a jury trial beginning Oct. 10. However, Pratt told Brenner that Cress was waiving his right to a trial, and a plea deal had been reached.

Cress has agreed to plead guilty to one count of photographing a child for pornography, a Class 1 felony. In an Adams County grand jury indictment returned on Jan. 19, Cress knowingly photographed a person who he knew was under the age of 18 and was depicted or portrayed in a pose, posture or setting involving a lewd exhibition of the unclothed pubic area. 

He also will plead guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony. Charging documents filed March 10 say Cress knowingly possessed on his cellphone a video of a female child, who he knew to be under the age of 13, actually or by stimulation engaged in an act of masturbation.

Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones said the minor involved in the Class 1 felony made statements that led to a search warrant being issued for Cress’ phone.

The sentencing range for the Class 1 felony is four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The sentencing range for the Class 2 felony is three to seven years. However, Cress’ sentences will be capped at six years on each count. The sentences will be served consecutively.

Five other counts will be dismissed as part of the agreement.

Cress will be sentenced on Dec. 18.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services alerted the Adams County Sheriff’s Department on Dec. 29, 2022, regarding a case of sexual exploitation of a minor. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Cress on Jan. 3, and he was charged with four counts of photographing a child for pornography, a Class 1 felony.

Cress was lodged in the Adams County Jail. Bond was set at $150,000. Cress posted $15,000 (10 percent) on Jan. 5 and was released. 

After an ongoing investigation, three more charges of possession of child pornography were made, all Class 2 felonies, and an arrest warrant was issued. Cress was arrested Friday, March 10. Bond was set at $300,000, then reduced to $150,000 three days later. Cress posted $15,000 (10 percent) on March 14 and was released. 

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