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November 9, 2010

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ANNOUNCES ANOTHER ARREST IN STATEWIDE CRACKDOWN ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHERS

Peoria County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that a Peoria County man was arrested this week on child pornography charges. He is the 16th suspect now charged since Madigan began a crackdown in August, targeting the most active participants in downloading and trading child pornography on the Internet.

Bartonville Police arrested Chad Crabtree, 37, of Bartonville. He is charged with one count of aggravated child pornography with intent to disseminate, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, and one count of aggravated possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by a three- to seven-year prison term.

The initial investigation indicated that Crabtree possessed several hundred computer images of child pornography, including more than 50 images of children under the age of 13. Crabtree is being held in the Peoria County Jail pending a bond hearing Tuesday.

“The Internet has, unfortunately, made it easier to commit these horrible crimes against children,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “But the same computer technology is making it possible for law enforcement to track and arrest those who victimize children by downloading and disseminating these vile images.”

Madigan said cooperation between her office, Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons and local law enforcement was essential to this arrest. Such cooperation at all levels is key to the success of the ongoing crack down on child pornographers in Illinois, said Attorney General Madigan.

Bartonville Police Chief Brian Fengel said his department is committed to assisting Madigan in the effort to stop child pornographers.

“The ongoing effort of the Attorney General to work with local law enforcement to remove this type of person from the community is invaluable in making our children safer,” said Chief Fengel.

In late August, Attorney General Madigan announced a new initiative to find and arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois using the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet, known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. Over the past month more than 6,400 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos.

“The people we have arrested so far are charged with victimizing the most vulnerable in our society, our children,” said Madigan. “We know that thousands more are trafficking in child pornography across Illinois. They do so at great risk. They should know we are aggressively and methodically investigating these crimes and will make more arrests.”

Studies have shown that users of child pornography are more likely to also be sexual abusers of children. A total of 24,625 sex offenders are listed on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, of which more than 81 percent committed a crime against a child. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is located at www.isp.state.il.us.

Along with this initiative to arrest child pornographers, Madigan also works with local and national law enforcement organizations to address Internet exploitation of children and women. Madigan’s office, with a grant from the Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement. Since 2006, Madigan’s office has been involved in more than 300 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to more than 128,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 10,000 law enforcement professionals.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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