Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced the Attorney General’s office has charged a Wayne County man with alleged possession of child pornography. The case is part of Raoul’s ongoing work, in collaboration with federal law enforcement agencies and local law enforcement officials throughout Illinois, to apprehend offenders who download and trade child pornography online.
Raoul’s office charged Brian J Wallace, 53, of Fairfield, Illinois, in Wayne County Circuit Court with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, Class 2 felonies each punishable by up to seven years in prison. Wallace’s bond was set at $500,000.
“Child pornography is a reprehensible crime. Individuals in possession of these horrific images must be held accountable to ensure innocent children are protected from exploitation that can potentially leave life-long emotional scars,” Raoul said. “These charges highlight the vital efforts of my office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which works tirelessly to identify and track down individuals who exploit children.”
Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Wayne County Sheriff’s office, conducted a search of Wallace’s residence in the 1900 block of IL Highway 15 in Fairfield and arrested him after discovering evidence of child pornography.
“I was contacted by investigators with the Illinois Attorney General’s office about assisting them in the execution of a search warrant and arrest of a suspect for crimes involving child pornography in Wayne County,” Wayne County Sheriff Chris Otey said. “The operation was successful, and my office was happy to assist. The Wayne County Sheriff’s office stands ready to assist the Illinois Attorney General’s office in any way we can to help prevent these types of heinous crimes involving children.”
Attorney General Raoul’s office is partnering with Wayne County State’s Attorney Kevin Kakac’s office to prosecute the case.
“Experts within the Attorney General’s office have been working on this case with us,” Kakac said. “We welcome their expertise and assistance in investigation and prosecution to hold the defendant accountable and help keep our community safe from child exploitation.”
The case is part of Attorney General Raoul’s work to investigate and prosecute child pornographers in Illinois. Raoul’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. The task force receives CyberTips, or online reports of child pornography, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Over the last several years, CyberTipline reports have steadily increased. In 2022, reports to the ICAC increased by 26% over 2021.
Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC task forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 175 local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has received more than 30,400 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 485 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,958 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to more than 1 million parents, teachers and students, in addition to more than 23,844 law enforcement professionals.
Raoul reminds the public that online child sexual exploitation can be reported at www.cybertipline.com, and child abuse can be reported at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Bureau Chief David Haslett and Assistant Attorney General Jenifer Peck are handling the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.