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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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May 30, 2014

MADIGAN: STEPHENSON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR DISSEMINATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a Freeport man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for disseminating child pornography. The defendant’s arrest was part of Madigan’s “Operation Glass House,” a statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Stephenson County Circurt Court Judge Michael P. Bald sentenced John A. Fernandez, 23, to a total of 10 years Thursday for dissemination of child pornography. Fernandez was arrested in February after investigators with Madigan’s office executed a search warrant at his residence. Assistant Attorney General Shannon O’Brien of Madigan’s High Tech Crimes Bureau co-prosecuted the case with Stephenson County Assistant State’s Attorney Carl Larson.

Fernandez’s arrest in February 2014 marked the 55th of Madigan’s Operation Glass House, which targets the state’s most active online traders of child pornography. In total, the Operation has secured 60 arrests, with the latest being a Kane County man who was arrested and charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography earlier this week.

“Viewing and trading child pornography is not an innocent act but a terrible crime that perpetuates the sexual assault of children,” Madigan said. “My office will continue to seek out the worst offenders in Illinois and ensure they are weeded out of our communities.”

Attorney General Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010 to crack down on the most active offenders in Illinois who are trading and downloading child pornography. Four years of subsequent investigations by her office’s High Tech Crimes Bureau have revealed a disturbing community of criminals who are trading and viewing extremely violent videos of children as young as infants being raped and abused.

In addition to her Operation Glass House, Madigan leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Task Force investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local and county level law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois to do the same. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC task force has been involved in 739 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to nearly 350,000 parents, teachers and students and over 17,000 law enforcement professionals. Currently, 182 agencies in Illinois are affiliated with ICAC.

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