Christopher A. Sykes

JERSEYVILLE - A man from Brighton faces four felony charges of child pornography after “collecting and disseminating” multiple files through online platforms and social media. Investigators have uncovered “an ongoing pattern of criminal activity” and over 100 images/videos of child pornography on just one of his devices.

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Christopher A. Sykes, 30, of Brighton, was charged with four counts of child pornography, each Class X felonies. Sykes allegedly disseminated videos depicting children under the age of 13 engaging in sexual conduct with other people. These offenses were reportedly committed on Aug. 4 and 5, 2023, according to court documents.

According to a petition to deny his pretrial release, Sykes has “engaged in an ongoing pattern of criminal activity where he is collecting and disseminating files of child pornography to other users via electronic platforms/social media.” While he’s currently charged with dissemination via Twitter/X, the investigation has revealed additional platforms he has used to collect and distribute the material, including Telegram.

“The Defendant acknowledges in his statement to the Investigator that when an account would get shut down he would simply open a new account and keep doing the criminal behavior,” the petition states. “This activity was done within his home over a period of time.

“When the search warrant was executed on March 14, 2024, the defendant had a powered on phone with accessible child sexual abuse material (CSAM) saved on it in his room, which he acknowledges is his and provided the passcode for to unlock … the Investigator and digital forensic examiner have so far observed over 100 image/video files of CSAM on the first device, either in a photo gallery or exchanged in chat messages.”

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Sykes reportedly resides in a home where an 8-year-old child also resides, and court documents state several young children - including both family members and neighborhood children - also regularly visit the residence.

“These children are cared for by the defendant and others on a regular basis, and he has ongoing access to these children, who are of similar age range to those children being victimized on the videos he is charged with disseminating,” the petition continues.

The petition argues Sykes would pose a threat to the safety of these children if he were granted pretrial release, given the charges against him and other crimes he has admitted to.

“The defendant acknowledges both in online ‘Telegram’ chats and to the Investigator in his interview that he's sexually attracted to young minor female neighbors in the community. He admitted to this and also admitted to stealing underwear belonging to a juvenile.”

Court records indicate Sykes is currently being held in custody pending a hearing on the state’s motion to keep him detained, which is set for April 3, 2024.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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