EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons filed 21additional charges against an Alton man in connection with unauthorized cameras found at a church in 2015.
David L. Von Bergen (d.o.b. 5/5/57) is facing six counts of Production of Child Pornography (Class X), four counts of Possession of Child Pornography (Class 2), five counts of Unauthorized Video Recording (Class 3) and two counts of Unauthorized Video Recording (Class 4).
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Von Bergen was originally charged with two counts of Unauthorized Video Recording, a Class 3 Felony, one count of Conspiracy (Obstructing Justice), a Class 4 Felony, and one count of Unauthorized Video Recording, a Class A Misdemeanor on January 7, 2016. At the time of these initial charges, Von Bergen was serving as an Elder with the church.
Officers from the Bethalto Police Department responded to Zion Lutheran Church around 11:00 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.
“There are no words to express the outrage and disbelief at the actions of the defendant alleged in these charges. The extraordinary violation of the privacy and peace of these victims in their place of worship must be dealt with in the most serious terms,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons. “These charges are the culmination of over a year’s work by the Bethalto Police Department, computer forensics experts from Illinois State Police and prosecutors from the State’s Attorney’s Office. With the evidence that has been recovered, we are now able to seek justice for these victims through prosecution. Our prayers are with them as they deal with this terrible circumstance. I would ask that everyone respect their privacy throughout this difficult process.”
State's Attorney Gibbons 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 on this case which resulted in today’s charges. Additionally, he commended members of church leadership at Zion Lutheran who aided police with the investigation, including assistance in identifying the victims involved.
Maximum penalty for a Class X Felony is 6-30 years in prison. Sentencing range for a Class 2 Felony is 3-7 years in prison, a Class 3 Felony is 2-5 years in prison, and the maximum for a Class 4 Felony is 1-3 years in prison. Von Bergen, whose bond has been revoked, is currently being held at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville.
These charges, as well as the statements made herein, are based upon probable cause. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.