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April 6, 2012

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: ST. CLAIR COUNTY MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

St. Clair County — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the arrest of a St. Clair County man as part of her Operation Glass House crackdown on the most active traffickers in Illinois who are downloading and trading child pornography online.

Sidney J. Davis III, 37, of Shiloh, was arrested Thursday at his residence on Lucia Lane and charged with five counts of aggravated possession of child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Davis is being held in the St. Clair County jail on a $250,000 bond.

“Every time these offenders download and view these heinous images, they are committing a crime that forever damages the life of the child,” Madigan said. “Every arrest in this ongoing operation should send a message to offenders that we see what they’re doing online 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 Shiloh Police Department and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office.

“Citizens and law enforcement in St. Clair County strongly support Attorney General Madigan’s fight against child pornography,” State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said. “With all the challenges we face in St. Clair County with violent crime, her focus on this issue is essential.”

“We do not believe any area children were involved with the offender; however, any parent who has a child who was in contact with Davis and has any concern should call the Shiloh Police Department,” said Shiloh Deputy Police Chief Gary McGill. “As a community, we greatly thank the Illinois Attorney General’s office for their vigilance and efforts to keep the children of Shiloh and all of Illinois safe.”

The Shiloh Police Department can be reached at (618) 726-5059.

The arrest marks the 29th of Operation Glass House, an initiative Madigan launched in August 2010 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 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 and 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 418 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 228,900 parents, teachers and students and more than 14,000 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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