Chicago man started downloading child porn ‘within days’ of being paroled for the same thing, prosecutors say

Chicago — Prosecutors say a Chicago man who was paroled in November after serving time for sexual abuse of a child and child pornography began downloading more child porn “nearly every day” within days of being released.

Michael Gonzalez, 30, was ordered to pay a $25,000 bail deposit to be released on the new charges by Judge Mary Marubio on Wednesday.

“I don’t even have that kind of money,” Gonzalez remarked at the conclusion of his bail hearing.

Michael Gonzalez | Cook County sheriff’s office

Gonzalez received concurrent three-year sentences in 2021 after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl he met online and brought to Chicago. He also pleaded guilty to having child pornography on his phone when police arrested him in that case.

He was paroled on November 15 after serving half of his sentence.

“Within days,” prosecutor Nicole Murphy said, Gonzalez began accessing a Google account that contained child pornography. He logged into the account “multiple times” on “nearly every day” between November 24 and December 14, when Google deactivated the account and reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Google also provided NCMEC with 122 files of child pornography from the account, which was linked to Gonzalez’s name and birthdate, Murphy alleged.

Cook County investigators took up the case and uncovered 590 child pornography files in the suspended account, about 300 of those involved children under the age of six and some as young as babies being sexually assaulted by adult men, said Murphy.

Police learned that Gonzalez lived at a halfway house for sex offenders and coordinated with parole officers to arrest him this week.

Gonzalez was carrying two phones when police arrested him. Murphy said that officials found two more phones inside a backpack in his room at the halfway house. Three of the four phones allowed Gonzalez to access the internet, which he was prohibited from doing as a condition of parole.

Murphy said that two of the phones had more child porn and links to websites with similar content.

“This is not a victimless crime,” Judge Marubio said near the end of Gonzalez’s hearing. “There is a supply and demand component to this where if there was no demand, there would be no supply and therefore no children harmed, sexually exploited.”

The Illinois Department of Corrections is reviewing Gonzalez’s parole status in light of the new allegations. He is charged with possessing child pornography and violating the sex offender registration act.

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