EDWARDSVILLE — An Alton man pleaded guilty today to Production of Child Pornography in connection with unauthorized cameras found at a church in 2015. David L. Von Bergen (d.o.b. 5/5/57) plead guilty today to one count of Production of Child Pornography, a Class X felony.
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Officers from the Bethalto Police Department responded to Zion Lutheran Church around 11 p.m. on December 24, 2015, following the discovery of several cameras found throughout the church. They had been placed in several locations, including in the changing area in the sacristy of the church.
During the course of the investigation, officers discovered additional evidence of the recording of individuals in the church. After an investigation by computer forensics experts from the Illinois State Police, it was determined that Von Bergen had created recordings between June and December 2015.
VonBergen pleaded guilty this afternoon in front of Circuit Judge Kyle Napp, who handed down VonBergen’s 15-year prison sentence. Additionally, VonBergen has been ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution.
“The horribly disturbing acts of this defendant violated the trust and sanctity of his victims specifically and also the entire Zion Church family in their place of worship,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons. “This vile person must be locked behind bars and kept there so he can no longer victimize the innocent or inflict his depravity on the good people of our community. This sentence today does just that.”
State's Attorney Gibbons also thanked Assistant State's Attorneys Kathleen Nolan and Ali Foley with the Children’s Justice Division and officers with the Bethalto Police Department for their ongoing work which resulted in the successful resolution of this case. Additionally, he commended members of church leadership at Zion Lutheran who aided police with the investigation, including assistance in identifying the victims involved.
“The victims and everyone at Zion have been in my prayers since this began, and I will continue to pray for their peace and healing from these terrible events. I have witnessed the strength and determination of the church members and leadership under the guidance of Rev. Mark Hofferber, and the power of their faith and forgiveness. I hope this prison sentence will provide justice and comfort to them as they move forward rebuilding their lives and their church family,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons.