A bench trial for a Missouri man who has been in jail since his arrest more than three years ago on charges of child pornography and traveling to meet a minor is set for next month.
A final pretrial hearing for Shelby Weston was held by Zoom on Tuesday afternoon, at which time Judge Kimberly G. Koester confirmed that the prosecution and defense were ready for trial.
The bench trial for Weston, 45, of Monett, Mo., is set to get under way at 9 a.m. on Sept. 10.
Weston was taken into custody on preliminary charges of traveling to meet a minor and grooming after police were called to a fast-food restaurant for a complaint of harassment on March 24, 2017.
He has been jailed on $250,000 bond since his arrest.
Weston is charged with:
• Traveling to meet a minor, alleging that he traveled from Missouri to Illinois “for the purpose of engaging in the offense of criminal sexual abuse with (a) child, after he used a computer online service … to seduce (a) child.
This is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
• Grooming, alleging that he used a computer online service to commit the offense of criminal sexual abuse, “in that after having knowledge of the victim’s age, the defendant traveled to Vandalia and invited (the victim) to meet him in his hotel room.
This is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
• Child pornography-five counts, alleging that he possessed photographs of a child “whom the defendant knew or reasonably should have been known to be under the age of 13.”
These charges are Class 2 felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.