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January 20, 2009

ATTORNEY GENERAL RECOGNIZES FOUR FOR WORK PROTECTING CHILDREN AGAINST ONLINE PREDATORS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office today bestowed special recognition on three police officers and a federal prosecutor for their extraordinary efforts in protecting children against online predators at the annual meeting of the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.

"Protecting children against online dangers is one of the greatest challenges we face today and I honor these partners for their work in this area," said Attorney General Madigan. "The types of cases for which we honor these men cover an array of high tech crime issues, but what they share is an intelligent use of high tech police work and tough prosecution,"

Detective Chuck May

Detective Chuck May of the Glendale Heights Police Department was honored for creating a new method of investigating subjects who use online networks to distribute child pornography. Working from leads supplied by Madigan's ICAC Task Force, May has located offenders responsible for distributing thousands of images and videos of child pornography. May was instrumental in the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of one suspect who traded child pornography, as well as stole young girls' clothing at the apartment complex where they resided.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Norwood

In addition to his usual case load, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Norwood of the Southern District of Illinois has enthusiastically prosecuted the cases sent to him by Attorney General Madigan's ICAC Task Force. Norwood's aggressive prosecutions have lead to incarcerations totaling more than 200 years in state and federal prison, including 67 years of supervised release and three cases where offenders received lifetime supervised release.

Officer Michael Bazzell

Attorney General Madigan honored Officer Michael Bazzell of the Alton Police Department for his ability to look beyond what appeared as a routine custody battle into a world where parents abuse their children online. Bazzell investigated a recent case where two female children said that they were being sexually exploited over the Internet. Because of Bassell's actions, six children were rescued, four adults were arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

Sergeant Michael Zaglif

Madigan's office recognized Sergeant Michael Zaglifa of the Palos Heights Police Department with the Lifetime Award. Zaglifa was a founding member of the Attorney General's ICAC Task Force. His expertise in undercover chat rooms and other investigative techniques led to the successful rescue of a female child who had been victimized for more than five years by a male suspect. The man traveled to Russia to adopt the child and began molesting her the first night the child was in his custody. The offender is now in prison.

Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Madigan operates the ICAC Task Force, one of 59 similar organizations nationwide designed to investigate child exploitation crimes and deliver Internet safety education.

For more information, click on: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/children/safetytips.html.

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