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June 13, 2012

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: DIXON MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

Springfield - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the arrest of a Lee County man as part of her Operation Glass House crackdown on the most active traffickers in Illinois who download and trade child pornography online.

Ronald Osborn, 61, of Dixon, was arraigned today in Lee County Circuit Court on six counts of aggravated child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by three- to seven-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Osborn was arrested early today at his Forest Park Drive residence in Dixon. He is being held in the Lee County jail on a $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for June 27 at 9 a.m.

“Child pornography is a horrific crime that victimizes the innocent children depicted in these videos over and over again,” Madigan said. “For every offender we’ve arrested, there are many more lurking behind closed doors in communities all across the state. With this ongoing operation, we’re sending the message loud and clear that we see what these criminals are doing and that ultimately we will find them, arrest them and put them behind bars.”

Investigators from the Attorney General’s office made the arrest working with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.

“I welcomed this opportunity to work with the Attorney General’s investigators to make this arrest, said Lee County Sheriff John Varga. “I am calling on anyone in our community who may have additional information regarding this individual to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Detective Division at 815-284-5217.”

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

This arrest is the 31st of Operation Glass House, an initiative Madigan launched in August 2010 to apprehend child pornographers in Illinois. In the first year of Operation Glass House, Madigan’s investigations revealed a disturbing trend of offenders trading extremely violent videos of children being raped. As part of its second year, Operation Glass House is focusing on targeting offenders seen trading and watching these extremely violent videos involving children as young as toddlers.

To track child pornographers online, investigators use the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet, known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. In the last 120 days, 3,200 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images by Attorney General’s office investigators.

This ongoing initiative will benefit from a new law that Madigan helped write and pass in the General Assembly last year, which helps investigators track offenders and requires longer sentences when they are convicted. The law authorizes prosecutors to issue administrative subpoenas for Internet-related child exploitation investigations. By using administrative subpoenas, investigators can more quickly obtain the name and address behind an IP address and move the investigation forward, whereas before it could have taken investigators up to 60 days to obtain this critical information due to infrequent grand jury meeting schedules.

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 agencies. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 423 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to nearly 238,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 14,100 law enforcement professionals.

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