A man initially accused of child pornography in Rock Island County now faces federal charges.

Stephen Elliott Psinas III, 44, East Moline, was indicted April 17 by a federal grand jury on counts of sexual exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

He is accused of encouraging two minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct so visual depictions could be produced, court documents state. For the first victim, Psinas' alleged criminal conduct happened between July 2017 and July 2018. For the second victim, the activity is alleged to have occurred between January and November 2018.

The child pornography charge is related to the accusation that Psinas distributed an illegal image of a child on July 15, 2018, federal court records state.

Psinas is scheduled to appear in federal court June 19, according to federal court records.

Psinas was arrested in November after an investigation by the East Moline Police Department, according to authorities. He was initially charged in Rock Island County with two counts of child pornography, and four additional counts were added later. The charges allege he disseminated pornographic images of at least one child in September.

The East Moline police said in a news release that Psinas' arrest came after three months of investigation. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force participated in the investigation.

The local charges were dismissed April 29 in favor of the federal case, according to county court records.

Psinas remained in custody in the Rock Island County Jail as of Tuesday morning, according to jail staff.

Anyone concerned that a child may be being exploited can contact the authorities anonymously.

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