ALTON - A man from Alton has been charged with five counts of child pornography following an investigation by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Investigators traced one of the electronic devices he allegedly used to share the material through an online platform, which led to a search warrant being executed at his address, where more disturbing items were uncovered.

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Joshua L. Kallal, 49, of Alton, was charged with three counts of child pornography on Feb. 2, 2024, and another two counts on March 2, 2024. Each of the five total counts are listed as Class X felonies.

According to a petition to deny Kallal’s pretrial release, these charges stem from an investigation by Amanda Wimmersberg, a Special Investigator with the High-Tech Crimes Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Wimmersberg was conducting an investigation on the peer-to-peer file sharing network BitTorrent on Friday, February 2, 2024 and Saturday, March 2, 2024, when she uncovered disturbing material from one of Kallal’s electronic devices.

“On both dates, Wimmersberg connected with a device at [an] IP address … which was sharing child pornography. Wimmersberg was able to successfully download three videos of child pornography from this device on February 2, 2024 and two videos of child pornography on March 2, 2024.

“A search warrant was obtained for subscriber information for the above mentioned Charter IP address. The IP address was associated to Joshua Kallal [in] Alton, IL. A search warrant was obtained for that address and was executed on April 18, 2024.”

The petition also states that during his interview, Kallal “admitted to viewing child pornography for years, admitted to disseminating child pornography via the BitTorrent network, and acknowledged familiarity with how BitTorrent works.”

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“A number of electronic items were seized from the residence including external hard drives,” the petition continues. “Forensic analysis of those hard drives is ongoing, however, a preliminary examination showed them to contain numerous files containing child pornography.”

In addition to the electronic materials seized, investigators reportedly uncovered other disturbing items during the search.

“Additionally, investigators located, in drawer full of sex toys, female toddler underwear and girl shorts,” the petition states. “Kallal also lives near a park.”

A Detention Order was filed granting the state’s petition to keep Kallal detained. The order points out that internet access is the only requirement for the “first step towards commission” of similar child sex crimes, which the court could not realistically mitigate if Kallal were granted pretrial release.

“Any requirement on the defendant by the court to refrain from use of the internet would be futile. Such condition could be easily violated by the defendant,” the Detention Order states. “Therefore, the state's petition for pretrial detention is granted.”

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office presented the case against Kallal, who was remanded to jail to be held until his initial court appearance. Madison County court records indicate an indictment against Kallal was returned by a grand jury on May 2, 2024.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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