Orion man charged with two counts of child porn dissemination pleads not guilty

Susan DeVilder

After a successful motion to remove two Henry County Judges from his case, an Orion man charged with two counts of dissemination of child pornography and seven counts of possession of child porn appeared before Judge Dana McReynolds in Henry County Circuit Court and entered a plea of not guilty.

Frank Laughner, 22, was arrested on Dec. 1 following an investigation by the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation that led to a search of his Orion residence. That search reportedly turned up evidence that supported Laughner’s arrest.

A motion to substitute Judge Terry Patton and Judge James Cosby was filed by Laughner’s attorney, Jonathan Ruud, on Dec. 3.  At what should have been Laughner’s preliminary hearing last month, Judge Cosby ordered the case to be referred to the court administration for re-assignment.

On Thursday, Laughner waived his right to both a preliminary hearing and a formal arraignment before entering a plea of not guilty.

The defense’s attorney also asked that Judge McReynolds modify the conditions of Laughner’s bail to allow him to travel to Scott County, Iowa for work- a request that Judge McReynolds granted.

Laughner is being charged with two Class X felonies and seven Class 2 felonies. In Illinois, a Class X felony carries a potential prison sentence of six to 30 years. Laughner is currently free on bail.

The first pre-trial hearing is set for March 24.

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