Illinois police commander arrested on child porn charges, authorities say

Illinois police commander arrested for child pornography possession

BELLWOOD, Ill. — A high-ranking police officer in a small village outside of Chicago has been accused of using the department’s internet to access child pornography, authorities said.

Bellwood police Commander John Trevarthen, 45, of Lombard, is charged with three felony counts of possession of child pornography, prosecutors said Saturday. He was booked into the DuPage County Jail and later released after posting 10% of his $150,000 bail.

“The allegations against Mr. Trevarthen are disturbing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.

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Berlin said that a Lombard police detective who works with the state attorney general’s Crimes Against Children Task Force in mid-January received a tip regarding suspected child porn from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The videos and images, which were reportedly accessed using the Kik filesharing app, were traced to an email address registered to a home in Lombard, a larger village a few miles west of Bellwood.

The subsequent investigation linked the email address, and the images, to Trevarthen, authorities said. Investigators on Friday pulled Trevarthen over as he drove in Lombard and seized his iPhone.

John Trevarthen, a commander with the police department in the Illinois village of Bellwood, is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography. Trevarthen, 45, is accused of using an IP address at the station, shown in a 2019 Street View image, to access the images.
John Trevarthen, a commander with the police department in the Illinois village of Bellwood, is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography. Trevarthen, 45, is accused of using an IP address at the station, shown in a 2019 Street View image, to access the images. (Google)

They also executed a search warrant at his home, where they seized an iPad, according to Berlin.

“Both devices were sent to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office’s Digital Forensic Unit for analysis,” the prosecutor said.

Details of what the images and footage depicted were not made public, but Berlin said the investigation determined that Trevarthen used both a personal IP address — as well as an IP address belonging to the Village of Bellwood — to view the porn through Kik.

Bellwood police officials addressed the accusations against Trevarthen on Saturday, though they did not refer to him by name. Trevarthen was immediately placed on administrative leave, and his supervisors and colleagues are cooperating with detectives from Lombard and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.

“In no uncertain terms, we do not tolerate or accept illegal behavior by any village employee,” the department’s statement read. “The police department remains committed to providing the highest level of service and protection to each resident and business in Bellwood.”