CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul charged a Piasa, Illinois man with possessing 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.

The Attorney General’s office charged Donald J. Herring, 57, in Jersey County Circuit Court with seven counts of possession of child pornography, Class 1 felonies, each count punishable by up to 15 years in prison that must be served consecutively; and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Sentences are ultimately determined by the court. Herring’s detention hearing is June 10.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

“Those who prey upon and exploit innocent children must be held accountable,” Raoul said. “Survivors and their families can face a lifetime of trauma, which is why my office will continue to collaborate with state and local authorities to help survivors receive justice to support their healing.”

Raoul’s investigators, along with officers from the Brighton Police Department, Jersey County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police’s (ISP) Zone 6 and South-Central Illinois Drug Task Force conducted a search of Herring’s residence in the 22300 block of Oak Rest Road in Piasa on June 6. Herring, who was convicted in 2019 for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, was arrested when investigators discovered a shot gun in his bedroom and evidence of child pornography on his cell phone.

“Preying on vulnerable children and youth is a despicable crime, and Illinois State Police special agents will track down perpetrators whenever we find evidence of sexual abuse and exploitation,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

Article continues after sponsor message

Raoul’s office is co-prosecuting this case with the Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten office.

The public is reminded that 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 2023, reports to the ICAC increased by 46% over 2022.

Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC task forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 185 local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has received more than 46,150 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 755 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 2,145 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 is reminding the public that child sexual exploitation can be reported online at cybertipline.com and child abuse at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.

Assistant Attorney General Katherine Hegarty is prosecuting the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.

More like this:

Jul 11, 2024 - Attorney General Kwame Raoul Obtains 25-Year Prison Sentence for Jersey County Man Who Disseminated Child Sex Abuse Material

Jun 17, 2024 - Attorney General Raoul Charges Macoupin County Man With Dissemination, Possession Of Child Pornography

May 15, 2024 - Mascoutah Residence Search Leads to Arrest in Child Porn Case

Jun 2, 2024 - Attorney General Applauds Passage Of Bill Regarding Child Porn And Use Of Artificial Intelligence

Apr 10, 2024 - Raoul: Metro East Man Obtains 35-Year Prison Sentence In Child Pornography Case