Supreme Court rejects Peel's child pornography appeal

Ann Knef Jan. 19, 2011, 12:25am


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down the appeal of former Glen Carbon attorney Gary Peel, convicted on child pornography charges involving nude photographs he took of his 16 year-old sister-in-law in 1974.

Peel had argued the photos weren't illegal when he took them.

Justices turned him down without comment, according to the court's Website.

Peel's 2007 conviction also included charges of obstruction of justice and bankruptcy fraud and carried a 12-year sentence.

Last year, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Peel had been sentenced twice for the same crime, as his verdicts for obstruction of justice and bankruptcy fraud depended on the same facts.

His resentencing by U.S. District Court Judge William Stiehl had been continued pending the outcome of Peel's case before the Supreme Court.

Stiehl must shorten Peel's sentence by recalculating losses Peel intended to cause when he tried to blackmail former wife Deborah Peel.

In 2006, Peel mixed blackmail and child pornography by copying the photographs he had taken of Deborah's sister and sticking the pictures in Deborah's mailbox.

He had threatened to make them public if she kept trying to enforce their divorce agreement through his bankruptcy proceedings.

She called postal authorities, who called federal prosecutors.

Agents wired her and sent her to meet Gary, who proposed to swap his photos for her signature on a settlement.

Arrest and conviction followed.

Peel, 66, is serving time at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Ashland, a low security facility in northeastern Kentucky. His release date is listed as Sept. 20, 2017.

Steve Korris contributed to this report.

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