Benjamin Frantz of Peoria had only minor brushes with the law until last January, when his latest will produce a potentially long prison term.
Frantz, then 20, had sex with a 14-year-old Washington girl. He recorded the act with his cellphone, then sent the video to the girl’s friend who posted it on a social media page.
He’ll learn in a sentence hearing July 28 how long between six and 22 years his judge will order him incarcerated.
That was the sentence range Frantz accepted Tuesday in which he pleaded guilty to one count each of child pornography as a Class X felony and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor five years younger than him.
His mother wiped at her eyes as Frantz also heard he could remain incarcerated for years beyond his sentence if he’s found in a civil action to be a sexually dangerous or violent person.
Police arrested Frantz on Jan. 26, about five weeks after he had sex with the girl at an East Peoria residence. The girl, who came to the police with her mother, said her friend had told Frantz that she was 16, but then revealed her real age after the act, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit.
The victim said Frantz also recorded the act on his phone without her permission and sent it to her friend, who posted it online, the affidavit stated.
Frantz and the girl had sex again a week later, after Frantz said they could despite her age because they had already done so before.
It was not known Tuesday whether the victim’s friend, also a minor, also was prosecuted for posting the sex video onto the internet.
Frantz will remain free on $25,000 bond pending his sentencing.
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