ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN CONTINUES CRACK DOWN ON CHILD PORN
DeKalb — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today her continuing crack down on child pornography statewide has resulted in two more arrests – one each in Ogle and Randolph counties. These are the third and fourth arrests since Madigan began a focused effort to target the most active participants in downloading and trading child pornography on the Internet.
DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen and Rochelle Police Chief Eric Higby joined Attorney General Madigan at an afternoon press conference to announce that Anthony Peterson, 24, of Rochelle, was arrested Wednesday, September 15, and charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Also on Wednesday, Adam C. Hood, 25, of Sparta, was arrested in Randolph County and charged with four counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony, and four counts of distribution of child pornography, a Class 1, non-probationable felony, punishable by four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Both Hood and Peterson were scheduled for bond hearings on Thursday afternoon.
When investigators arrived at their homes, Peterson and Hood both admitted to having child pornography on their home computers.
“Child pornography is not a victimless crime. In fact, it destroys lives. Each time these horrid images are downloaded or traded on the Internet, vulnerable children are revictimized,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “We must protect these innocent victims, some of whom are literally infants. These arrests should send a clear message to child pornographers: we can find you, and we will arrest you for your crimes.”
“I commend the Attorney General’s leadership in forging this partnership with local law enforcement to help protect vulnerable young people in our communities from those who roam the Internet in search of another victim,” Chief Feithen said.
Last month, Attorney General Madigan announced a new initiative to find and arrest child pornographers by tracking them using the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet. This identifier is known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. In the past 30 days, more than 8,000 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos. Madigan plans to continue this work to investigate and arrest child pornographers.
“What these Internet predators should know is the technology they use to abuse children and share child pornography is the same technology law enforcement will use to track and prosecute them,” Madigan said.
Studies have shown that users of child pornography are more likely to also be sexual abusers of children. A total of 26,813 sex offenders are registered in Illinois, of which more than 75 percent committed a crime against a child.
Also as part of this initiative to crack down on child pornographers, today, Madigan’s office, working with the DeKalb Police Department, conducted compliance checks on four sex offenders convicted of child pornography or aggravated child pornography to obtain their IP addresses in order to monitor them and to ensure their compliance with the sex offender registry laws.