Child Porn Case To Go On In Fayette County

(VANDALIA, IL) — A Fayette County judge denied a defense attorney’s motion Wednesday to withdraw from a child pornography case after both the attorney and his client failed to appear last month for jury trial. St. Louis defense attorney Shin Cho failed to appear in court the day after a jury had been selected. Cho’s client, 36-year-old Ryan J. Koontz was free on $30,000 cash bond at the time and failed to appear in court for either jury selection or the first day of trial. Judge Don Sheafor released the jury after both Cho and Koontz failed to appear the second day but Cho did appear the following day. His client was ultimately apprehended a few days later and is now held in the Fayette County Jail without bail. In addition to denying Cho’s motion to withdraw from the case, Judge Sheafor also ordered the $25,000 of Koontz’ remaining bond to be forfeited to the State of Illinois Wednesday. The court had earlier ordered $5,000 of the bond to be released to Cho for attorney’s fees. Koontz was arrested in November 2014 on eight Class 2 felony counts possessing child pornography and two Class X felony counts possessing child pornography stemming from “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative launched in 2010 to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online. He’s next scheduled in court June 27 for a pre-trial hearing and July 24 for a jury trial.