ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: ROCKFORD MAN ARRESTED
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced the arrest of a Rockford man as part of her Operation Glass House crackdown on the most active traffickers in Illinois who download and trade child pornography online.
Scott S. Fink, 59, of Rockford, was arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Fink was arrested early this morning at his London Avenue residence and is being held in county jail on a $200,000 bond.
“Operation Glass House has led to the arrest and prosecution of dozens of dangerous criminals living undetected in communities around Illinois,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Though advances in technology have allowed child pornography to flourish online, we are using that same technology to apprehend offenders and put a stop to vulnerable children being victimized.”
Investigators with Madigan’s office made the arrest working with the Rockford Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office.
“Today’s arrest was the result of the joint efforts and investigation by Attorney General Madigan’s office, our Rockford police officers and federal agencies,” said Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson. “This team effort demonstrates the importance of law enforcement agencies at all levels working together to bring offenders to justice.”
“Unfortunately, like so many communities Winnebago County has not been spared the problems of child pornography,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joseph Bruscato. “However, with the ongoing work of the Attorney General’s office along with local authorities across the state, efforts are being made to ensure that Winnebago County and other communities are made safe.”
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.
This arrest is the 32nd 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, approximately 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.