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February 6, 2017

MADIGAN: MCHENRY COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY POSSESSION

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a McHenry County man was charged Friday with possessing and disseminating child pornography as part of the Attorney General's ongoing efforts to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Joseph Gould, 31, of McHenry, Ill., was charged in McHenry County Circuit Court with three counts of dissemination of child pornography, which are Class X felonies punishable by six to 30 years in prison, and seven counts of possession of child pornography, which are Class 2 felonies punishable by three to seven years in prison. Bond was set at $250,000 for Gould during a Saturday bond hearing.

"Child pornography is a horrible crime that exploits innocent children," Madigan said. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute offenders who commit these horrendous crimes."

Madigan's investigators, with the assistance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the McHenry County Sheriff's Office and the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office, conducted a search of a residence on Friday in the 400 block of North Hill Road in McHenry and arrested Gould after evidence of alleged child pornography was discovered. The case will be prosecuted by Madigan's office with McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally's office.

"I am absolutely committed to prosecuting individuals who engage in child pornography to the fullest extent of the law," Kenneally said. "Our partnership with the Attorney General's office is a critical tool that helps us put the perpetrators of these inexcusable crimes behind bars."

"HSI is committed to thwarting the distribution of child pornography, and to ensuring that criminals like the defendant are brought to justice for preying on vulnerable children," said James M. Gibbons, special agent in charge of HSI in Chicago. "HSI works closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and arrest child sexual predators who possess and trade child pornography. This is an important fight to protect our children."

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

Today's arrest is part of Attorney General Madigan's work to investigate and prosecute child pornographers in Illinois. Madigan's office, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. Since 2006, Madigan's ICAC task force has been involved in more than 1,200 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided internet safety training and education to more than 550,000 parents, teachers and students and nearly 23,000 law enforcement professionals.

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