CHICAGO – A Macoupin County man - Robert L. Jones - faces charges of possessing and disseminating child pornography and failing to register as a sex offender.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced his office charged Jones, 45, in Macoupin County Circuit Court with five counts of dissemination of child pornography of a child under 13 years old, each Class X felonies punishable by up to 30 years in prison; 10 counts of possession of child pornography of a child under 13 years old, each Class 1 felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and three counts of failure to register under the Sex Offender Act, Class 3 felonies each punishable by up to seven years in prison.
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Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Gillespie Police Department and Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department, searched Jones’ home on the 700 block of South Street in Gillespie on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, and arrested him due to evidence of child pornography on his electronic device and social media accounts.
Jones, of Gillespie, is presently detained at the Macoupin County Jail and his next court date is scheduled for Oct. 30, 2023.
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.
“Survivors of child exploitation are revictimized every single time an individual trades or downloads these horrific images or videos,” Raoul said. “I will continue to partner with the Macoupin County state’s attorney’s office and local law enforcement to investigate these heinous crimes and protect children and families in Central Illinois.”
Attorney General Raoul’s office is co-prosecuting this case with Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison.
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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 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 Shantikumar Kulkarni is prosecuting the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.
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