Former Harvard city clerk on trial in McHenry County for possession of child pornography

Chicago Tribune 2 days ago

A trial started this week in McHenry County for a former city clerk of Harvard who is accused of possessing child pornography on a flash drive found in his desk at a Western-themed tourist attraction where he worked.

The bench trial for Andrew Wells, 57, who is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, started Monday and continued Wednesday. Judge Michael Coppedge is expected to announced his verdict Dec. 12.

In opening statements, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd said Wells had a USB flash drive that possessed “a significant amount of images” of young female girls in “lewd” positions.

Ladd said Wells at first denied that the drive was his, then later admitted it was.

Angelo Mourelatos, an assistant public defender representing Wells, said multiple people — as many as 23 — had access to the desk as well as the flash drive on which authorities said they found the images.

Mourelatos also said that no such images were found on Wells’ work computer at City Hall or on any other devices owned by Wells. He also said detectives did not question any other employees who also had access to the desk and the device.

Wells, who no longer is the Harvard city clerk, was working at what was formerly known as Donley’s Wild West Town in Union as a cook in the banquet hall and a bookkeeper.

Wells was Harvard city clerk for four terms from 2001 through 2017. He finished out his term after his arrest but did not seek reelection, according to Harvard officials.

Also found on the flash drive were business-related documents such as tax returns, spreadsheets and payment information.

Wells was arrested in September 2016 after a three-month investigation.

The flash drive was discovered by a manager of the business, and eventually was turned over to authorities.

Amanda Marrazzo is a freelance reporter.

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