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November 29, 2011

MADIGAN: ROCK ISLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR PREDATORY CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY PRODUCTION

Rock Island — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that her office’s Operation Glass House, a statewide initiative aimed at cracking down on the most prolific child pornography offenders, has netted its first-ever arrest for predatory criminal sexual assault and production of child pornography.

Randy Bazer, 25, of Rock Island is being held on $1 million bond after being charged with 12 Class X offenses, including six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and six counts of aggravated child pornography. Each Class X predatory sexual assault offense is punishable by a sentence of six to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), and each offense of aggravated child pornography is punishable by six to 30 years served in IDOC.

“Operation Glass House has sought out the worst of the worst child pornography offenders—those who watch and trade the most violent videos of infants and toddlers being sexually assaulted,” Attorney General Madigan said. “The horrific facts of this case surpass any others we’ve handled.”

Bazer is being held in the Rock Island County Jail following his arrest the morning of Nov. 22 at a residence on 5 ˝ Avenue. Investigators from the Attorney General’s office executed a search warrant at the residence, working in conjunction with the Rock Island Police Department and the Rock Island County State’s Attorney.

“Our office commends the joint efforts and investigation of Attorney General Madigan’s office and Rock Island City Police departments. This team effort is a model example of what law enforcement accomplishes when they work together. These two agencies’ hard work and dedication is appreciated by our office and we look forward to working with these agencies in the future,” State’s Attorney Mark Senko said.

“By their nature, child pornography cases are heart wrenching and difficult,” said Rock Island Police Chief Scott D. Harris. “It takes the commitment of state and local law enforcement working together to seek out suspected perpetrators of child pornography and rid our communities of them.”

In August 2010, Attorney General Madigan announced Operation Glass House, an initiative to find and arrest the worst 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 – often infants and toddlers – being raped. As part of its second year, Operation Glass House is focusing on targeting offenders seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving young children. Bazer is the 28th arrest in Operation Glass House.

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 60 days, 3,154 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos across the state 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 this year. Senate Bill 1035, which was signed into law in August, 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 take 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. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 392 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to more than 176,800 parents, teachers and students and more than 13,400 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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