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April 25, 2012

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: METRO EAST MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

Springfield — 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.

Joseph Millard, 49, of Belleville, was arraigned today in St. Clair County Circuit Court on two counts of aggravated reproduction of child pornography, each a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and five counts of aggravated possession of child pornography, Class 2 felonies punishable by three to seven years in the IDOC. Millard was arrested yesterday at his residence on Bourdelais Drive. He is being held in the St. Clair County jail on a $500,000 bond.

“This arrest is just the latest we’ve made in the Metro East with our local law enforcement partners. We will continue to work together to fight child exploitation and send the message to other offenders that their day will come,” Madigan said. “Traffickers in child pornography scar the lives of children every time they download and view these images. They’re committing a horrific crime, and they will be held accountable.”

Investigators from the Attorney General’s office made the arrest working with the Belleville Police Department and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office which will prosecute the case.

“All of law enforcement will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who would harm our children,” State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said. “The Attorney General’s continued leadership is making a tremendous difference.”

“The Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force has once again made the children of the Metro East safer by identifying and removing an internet predator with today’s arrest. The Belleville Police Department has partnered with the Attorney General’s Office in the past in their vigorous efforts to identify and arrest these Internet perpetrators. This department will continue to do so in the future,” said Police Chief Col. William Clay III. “I commend Attorney General Lisa Madigan and wish to emphasize that without ICAC’s specialized know-how, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for this department to effectively fight these types of crimes committed against our children.”

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

This arrest is the 30th 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 419 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.

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