Man sentenced to probation in child porn case

URBANA – A Rantoul man who admitted looking at child pornography on his home computer has been sentenced to probation.

Donald Cyphert, 75, who listed an address in the 400 block of East Congress Avenue, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Champaign County Circuit Court to a single count of child pornography, admitting he looked at it on Feb. 23.

Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris said police found six movies of girls engaged in sex acts on Cyphert's computer.

His use of the child pornography came to light through an undercover investigation launched by Urbana police using software that enables them to detect computers that are file-sharing child pornography.

Cyphert, who had no prior convictions, was sentenced to 30 months of probation, ordered to pay $2,600 in fines, and get a sex offender evaluation. Judge Tom Difanis set an Oct. 28 hearing to confirm Cyphert's plea after he's had the evaluation.

Cyphert's attorney, Steve Beckett, said Cyphert is already in counseling.

In other court cases recently resolved in Champaign County:

– Elmer McCarty III, 52, of the 2500 block of Prairie Green, Urbana, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for unlawful delivery of controlled substance. He admitted that on March 4, he sold about four-tenths of a gram of cocaine to a source working with police in Urbana.

– Gabriel Manning, 22, who listed an address in the 2500 block of Alton Drive, Champaign, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for possession with intent to deliver cannabis. He admitted that on June 3, he had almost 3 ounces of cannabis with him when stopped by Champaign police near the intersection of Paula Drive and Honeysuckle Lane.

According to court records, Manning got out of the car and ran, throwing down a satchel as he ran that contained the cannabis. Difanis agreed to recommend Manning for boot camp.

– Luke T. Robinson, 22, of the 400 block of West Beardsley Avenue, Champaign, was sentenced to three years in prison for obstructing justice. He admitted that on Aug. 21, he gave a false name to a University of Illinois police officer to avoid being arrested on a warrant in a traffic case. Difanis recommended Robinson for drug treatment in prison.

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John O'Connor wrote on September 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

So, prison for drugs and lying to a cop but only probation for child porn??

getaclue wrote on September 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

Obviously the county is not as concerned with all the freaks that prowl on our young children. Seems like there are cases popping up daily in the paper about this problem. But lets just keep giving them probation and then see how soon they are at it again. I think a wakeup call needs to be made.

Utowner wrote on September 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Why on Earth do we waste so much money putting people in prison for drugs? This is just insane, we wonder why every unit of government is broke, I've got a wild idea, it is because we are to concerned with what people are doing in their own personal lives. If you want to shoot/snort/smoke something GO FOR IT. It is not my problem. It is not like we have really reduced drug use/abuse in this country anyways. Look at the abuse rates for the Western world, we with the most restrictive laws have the highest rate of abuse. This needs to stop. When does lying to a cop equate to prison time? Lets make some money by issuing fines rather than sticking people in prison and costing ourselves money.

RogueWave wrote on September 23, 2010 at 6:09 am

Let's take it one step further. We should legalize and tax soft drugs like marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms and LSD that have little or no scientifically proven health risks associated with them. Especially cannabis...millions of Americans use cannabis every year, let's make some big money by legalizing and taxing it instead of wasting taxpayer money by throwing otherwise law-abiding citizens in jail.

SunDevil1995 wrote on September 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

I agree with you guys. I won't say that drug offences should not get jail time either, but 3 years for 3 ounces of pot versus probation for child porn. Those children in those images are victims of the one most horrible crimes. That's just not right.

Learning2B wrote on September 28, 2010 at 8:09 am

Thank you, SunDevil1995.

jusssssayin wrote on September 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Maybe the County Court should've paid closer attention to the offender's address. The high school is located on the 400 block of East Congress in Rantoul. I find this very disturbing.

RogueWave wrote on September 23, 2010 at 6:09 am

What this guy did was wrong, but I doubt that high school kids are in too much danger of being seduced or captured by a 75 year old man.

Learning2B wrote on September 28, 2010 at 8:09 am

So, these are the only circumstances under which you would define nonconsensual sexual contact?

sahuoy wrote on September 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

You people are insane. No, those of you that have commented here. Put a 75 year old man in prison for child porn. At that age this guy probably doesn't sexually function and he would have to serve his time in isolation because he would most likely wind up dead from stress, fear, abuse and that is wrong for someone 75 to be subjected to. The cannabis on a young guy is not a great offense but his experience in prison should deter him and at his age he has much more time to repeat his offense and affect many more people over his life time. A much greater risk to society than a 75 year old. Just sayin...

You must realistically consider the total effects at hand over their due course of expected time.

RogueWave wrote on September 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Please enlighten me as to how Mr. Manning and his 3 ounces of pot were a "greater risk to society" than a guy who watched videos of children being sexually assaulted. I don't care if the man is 75 or not, he deserves to be in prison 100 times more than Mr. Manning does by any reasonable determination. And how exactly would Mr. Manning be "affecting many people" over his lifetime if he was still free and selling some weed on the side? A few more people in Champaign-Urbana might get fat from the munchies, but that would just about be the extent of the damage that he would cause to society.

Mr. Manning made a youthful mistake, and because of that he will now be virtually unemployable once he is out of prison and will likely return to crime out of necessity as a result...and that assumes that he doesn't get murdered or contract HIV from being raped while he is there, both of which are reasonable possibilities in prison. And all this for what you yourself referred to as "not a great offense." Does that sound like the punishment fits the crime to you? For a little weed? For shame.

John O'Connor wrote on September 23, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Very well put. But,apparently, we're insane for believing such things...

sahuoy wrote on September 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Thank you for your response. It is blazingly clear that your years in the judicial system have considered all the cause and effects in both of these cases. Child profiling is a much more horrendous crime at first glance but I suggest the volume of people riding the rippling effects of drug behavior easily out paces child porn. You can't just take a blanket approach and cover everything with a one size fits all attitude. You have to actually look beyond today and estimate the results that are most likely to play out given the history. With your send em all to prison approach, won't the cost of prisons be going down soon as we wait another 5 or 50 years for their meager lives to play out because we have no rehabilitation. It cost more than the cost of them living out their lives, in and out of prison until they die but does keep the judicial system employed. Hoorah. Now that's light at the end of the tunnel and how much does the victims of these crimes cost to rehabilitate if at all possible? Priceless, if it never happened in the first place but hey, with money so cheap and limited amounts available the status of citizens as collateral damage won't be changing any time soon. Its the great experiment Charlie Brown. Yes, you are insane as what you propose would suggest school boys or girls sexually assaulted by their oh so wonderful baby sitters or illegal nanny's would have everyone locked up including the curious little girls and boys as they learn about the world we live in. Yes, insane is putting it lightly. Before you respond, rethink your solution. Hitler tried and failed doctor who's heart was 2 sizes too small finished voting straight republican watched his friend doctor who's heart grew 3 sizes big in just one day vote democrat once again. Then they both went to their synagogues and lived happily ever after in don't ask don't tell never never land. Just sayin...

John O'Connor wrote on September 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm

"Child profiling [sic] is a much more horrendous crime at first glance but I suggest the volume of people riding the rippling effects of drug behavior easily out paces child porn. "
You and I have very different ideas about the comparative immorality of child porn and pot.

"Yes, you are insane as what you propose would suggest school boys or girls sexually assaulted by their oh so wonderful baby sitters or illegal nanny's would have everyone locked up including the curious little girls and boys as they learn about the world we live in. Yes, insane is putting it lightly.
This is just nuts. And troubling.

"Hitler tried and failed doctor who's heart was 2 sizes too small finished voting straight republican watched his friend doctor who's heart grew 3 sizes big in just one day vote democrat once again. Then they both went to their synagogues and lived happily ever after in don't ask don't tell never never land"
Do you think this statement makes sense? But at least you got a Hitler reference in.

Learning2B wrote on September 28, 2010 at 8:09 am

What the heck is child profiling?

BBall05 wrote on September 24, 2010 at 12:09 am

Maybe before you comment on how great Mr. Manning is, you should take a peek at his criminal history. He has several drug possession charges including prior felonies. He was on probation at the time of his arrest for manufacturing/delievery of cannabis. This was not a youthful mistake but a repeat offender and that is more than likely why the prison term was handed down.

John O'Connor wrote on September 24, 2010 at 9:09 am

Well, the point is that drug possession is not as bad as child porn and it's strange that pot resulted in a prison sentence while viewing child porn just got probation. Are you honestly okay with that?

BBall05 wrote on September 25, 2010 at 12:09 am

I agree that the child porn possession sentence is lenient by all means and I to am surprised by that conviction. All I am saying is that people believe possession with intent to deliever marijauna is some adolescent mistake. But many things come from having that amount of drugs in your possession. Gang activity, robbery, weapons and many other negative things stem from drug activity.

John O'Connor wrote on September 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

As with alcohol when it was prohibited, these consequences flow from illegal drug related activity. When pot is legal, we'll be able to regulate and tax it and remove the syndicate aspect of it.

sahuoy wrote on September 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

I am implying you must consider these two individuals as consumers. Then consider their likelihood to repeat their offenses creating more victims. Their ages and the amount of time tax dollars will be spent watching for the next time an offense is committed. Then consider their overall well being and safety. I don't disagree with the circumstances of Manning as a possibility, however, a 75 year old man in a prison population would most likely be dead in one or two weeks. Look at this from the judges view, consider that he is spending your tax dollars on their punishment and must also use those dollars wisely not just to rehabilitate and punish to protect the public but also avoid the pitfalls of cruel and unusual punishment or lawsuits or his performance given the circumstances. The judge made a good decision and he has far more experience with the results than anyone else.

dane wrote on September 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Look-up manning on the Circuit clerk web site, note the numeruous previous charges, criminal and traffic, compared to the 75 year old man with no record.
That is why Manning is going to jail; he earned his way in there...

John O'Connor wrote on September 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm

It's certainly not unreasonable to consider someone's previous record when determining what should happen to them. I believe pot shouldn't even be illegal and so shouldn't have been something that may have added to this person's record. In any case, viewing, and perhaps paying for and thereby funding, child porn is such an egregious offense that I think it deserves very serious consequences.

freechampaign wrote on September 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I say put them both in prison. As for the people that think using cannabis is a victimless crime, think again. I was a victim of a person behind the wheel and under the influence of cannabis when he ran me over with his vehicle causing injuries that I will NEVER recover from. Victimless, I think not. Hope it doesn't happen to one of you or your loved ones.

RogueWave wrote on September 25, 2010 at 4:09 am

My condolences, but that doesn't really have anything to do with the morality of using cannabis...just like your injuries would not be a fair argument for criminalizing alcohol if the driver had been drunk instead.