Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced today that his office charged a Knox County man with solicitation and possession of child pornography. The Galesburg, Illinois resident is also facing charges for violating the Sex Offender Registry Act. 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.
The Attorney General’s office charged William A. Peck, 35, in Knox County Circuit Court with two counts of solicitation of child pornography, Class X felonies, each punishable by up to 60 years in prison; two counts of possession of child pornography, Class 1 felonies, each punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and two counts of violating the Sex Offender Registry Act, each Class 3 felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. A Knox County judge ordered Peck to be detained until his next court date, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 6.
“Survivors of child exploitation and abuse face a lifetime of healing from the trauma they experience,” Raoul said. “My office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is committed to collaborating with law enforcement throughout the state to protect Illinois families from offenders who prey on and exploit young children to share these horrific images.”
Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Galesburg Police Department, conducted a search of Peck’s residence on Nov. 8 in the 400 block of North Kellogg Street in Galesburg and arrested him after discovering evidence of child pornography. Peck was previously convicted for indecent solicitation of a minor and possession of child pornography and served six years in prison.
“Initiatives like these are crucial to maintaining the high quality of life that our children deserve here in Knox County,” Sheriff Jack Harlan said. “We will continue to work with the Illinois Attorney General's Office to aggressively pursue and investigate these crimes until these predators are taken into custody and our children are safe.”
Raoul’s office will co-prosecute this case with Knox County State’s Attorney Jeremy Karlin’s office.
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s hard work in this area,” State’s Attorney Karlin said. “We will co-prosecute this matter with his office and ensure that the defendant is held accountable.”
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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 35,000 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 600 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,990 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to tens of thousands of parents, teachers, students and law enforcement professionals.
Attorney General Raoul also reminded 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.
Assistant Attorney General Katherine C. Hegarty is prosecuting this case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.