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July 27, 2016

MADIGAN: MARION COUNTY MAN SENTENCED IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a Marion County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for disseminating child pornography.

Christopher L. Cook, 27, of Centralia, was sentenced by Marion County Judge Mark Stedelin after pleading guilty last month to two counts of distribution of child pornography. Cook was arrested in 2014 as part of Madigan’s “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online. His sentence will run consecutive to a current four-year sentence he is serving after being convicted of possession of child pornography in Richland County in April 2016.

“We will continue to pursue offenders who commit these horrific crimes,” Madigan said. “Every time an image of child pornography is downloaded and shared, children are revictimized.”

Marion County State’s Attorney Matthew Wilzbach’s office assisted Madigan’s office in prosecuting the case.

“I am very pleased with the sentence rendered by Judge Stedelin in this matter. Child pornography is a very serious offense, is NOT a victimless crime, and I believe this sentence will protect our community,” said Wilzbach. “The assistance given to us by the Illinois Attorney General’s office, both through investigation and assistance of assistant counsel, was invaluable and much appreciated.”

In November 2014, investigators with Madigan’s office and the Centralia Police Department executed a search warrant at Cook’s Centralia home and found evidence of distribution of child pornography on his cell phone.

Madigan launched “Operation Glass House” in August 2010 to investigate the most active child pornography traders in Illinois. Madigan’s investigations have revealed a disturbing trend of offenders trading extremely violent videos of young children being raped. As a result, Madigan’s office has focused on apprehending offenders who are seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving children, including infants and toddlers.

Madigan’s office, with a grant from the U.S. 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 more than 1,200 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 540,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 22,000 law enforcement professionals.

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