Bench trial to begin in Fayette County case against MO sex offender

FAYETTE COUNTY — A bench trial is scheduled to be held Tuesday in the Fayette County case charging a 44-year-old Missouri man with grooming of a minor and possession of child pornography.

Shelby Weston

Shelby D. Weston is already a registered sex offender in Missouri and is now charged in Fayette County, Illinois with four Class 2 felony counts of possessing child pornography, and two counts Class 3 felony possessing child pornography, as well as with Class 3 felony traveling to meet a minor and Class 4 felony grooming.

It was the traveling to meet a minor and the grooming charges that reportedly led to the discovery of the child pornography when Weston was arrested in Vandalia.

According to court information, Weston possessed three photographs and one video of a child under the age of 13, and two other photos of a child under the age of 18.

The Missouri Sex Offender Registry shows Weston was convicted in 2004 in Missouri on multiple charges including enticing and attempting to entice a child, as well as attempted statutory sodomy of a child.

Jury trial dates in the Fayette County case had been reset multiple times before the defense elected to have Weston tried instead by a judge, rather than a jury. Scheduled dates for the bench trial have also been vacated multiple times.

Weston has remained in the Fayette County Jail since his March 2017 arrest, with bail set at $250,000.