Man faces five counts of possessing images depicting sexual abuse of children

Thomas W. Dettman February 2024.

OREGON – A Rochelle man accused of possessing an image of a child younger than 13 being sexually abused appeared in Ogle County court Wednesday and was released from custody with a long list of court-ordered conditions.

Thomas W. Dettman, 44, is charged with five counts of possessing images of sexual abuse of children. Court records allege that the offenses occurred on or about Feb. 27.

Dettman appeared in court with his attorney, Ogle County Public Defender Michael O’Brien, who asked Judge John Redington to release Dettman from the Ogle County Correctional Center as his case proceeds through the court system.

O’Brien said the court could impose conditions on Dettman if he were released.

Assistant State’s Attorney Allison Huntley disagreed.

“This is a detainable offense,” said Huntley, adding that 100 images of children had been discovered on Dettman’s cellphone.

Huntley said Dettman should remain in custody since he has a minor child, but the child’s mother spoke from the courtroom gallery, telling Redington that the child lives with her in a different household in a different town.

Redington said he would release Dettman on a $1,000 recognizance bond only if he agreed to “a bunch of conditions.”

“You are to have no contact with any children under the age of 18, including your own,” Redington told Dettman. “You are to have no cellphone or any access to a tablet, computer or any social media accounts.”

He ordered Dettman to give the Ogle County probation department access to all his passwords for any accounts, including email, that he has for any electronic devices. He also is barred from looking at sexually explicit material or visiting any virtual reality sites.

Further, Redington banned Dettman from exploring the internet on any device or at any establishment.

“Do not possess any devices to access the internet,” Redington told Dettman.

He set Dettman’s next status hearing for 10 a.m. March 13.

Under the SAFE-T Act, which was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court and took effect in September 2023, cash bail has been eliminated and requires that a defendant be released unless a judge rules that the defendant is a likely flight risk or poses too much of a threat to one person or the community to allow release.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.