A retired Illinois State Police trooper who admitted viewing child pornography on a state-issued laptop computer while sitting in his squad car supposedly looking for speeding motorists was sentenced today to 60 days in the DuPage County Jail.

Juan Rodriguez, 51, of Glen Ellyn, a 27-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, pleaded guilty today to official misconduct and possession of child pornography.  He is to begin serving his sentence later this year following the completion of a sex offender evaluation.

Assistant State's Attorney Helen Kapas Erdman told Judge George Bakalis that Rodriguez's name first appeared in connection with child pornography during a 2003 federal investigation into child pornography sites, and then again in 2008 when another federal investigation showed him viewing child pornography sites and using a personal credit card to pay $99 to join a website.

The investigation led back to the defendant’s state-issued laptop, which he used while he was on duty for Illinois State Police District 15, the tollway division. He was assigned to an overtime detail designed to run traffic patrols.

"He was using the ISP mobile data computer in his squad to view and download these images," Kapas Erdman said.

"He claimed to have his interest sparked by newspaper articles and he wanted to see what the big deal was," she said. Bakalis was told that Rodriguez looked at the websites two or three times a year over six years.

Bakalis also sentenced Rodriguez to 30 months of sex offender probation and ordered him to register for life as a child sex offender and pay a $2,000 fine.

"He denies ever having touched a child in a sexual manner," said Brian Telander, defense attorney. "He is a decorated Navy veteran."

Rodriguez retired from the state police before he was charged in 2009, but was aware of the investigation.

Rodriguez declined comment today.

"He claimed he was bored on the overtime shift and the obsession overcame him," Kapas Erdman told Bakalis. "He claims it sparked his interest, but not sexual desire. However, he did claim he would view them at times before having relations with his girlfriend."

The defendant has no previous criminal record and faced up to five years in prison. Kapas Erdman said he is expected to lose his pension because of a felony conviction.