JERSEY - Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced the Attorney General’s office has charged a Brighton man with the alleged dissemination 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.
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Raoul’s office charged Jerry Newby Jr., 24, in the Jersey County Circuit Court with five counts of dissemination of child pornography, Class X felonies, each punishable by up to six to 30 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Newby’s bond was set at $1 million and he is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1. Newby currently resides in Wood River in Madison County.
“Perpetrators who exploit innocent children must be held accountable, which helps prevent further abuse and can be critical to helping abused children and their families heal,” Raoul said. “The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force allows law enforcement to work across county lines and with federal, state, and local agencies to ensure that individuals who commit these horrific crimes cannot harm other children.”
Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the U.S. Secret Service Chicago Field Office, Jersey County Sheriff’s Office, Brighton Police Department, and Wood River Police Department conducted a search of Newby’s residence Tuesday, Nov. 30, in the 100 block of Thompson Street in Wood River and arrested him after discovering evidence of child pornography.
“The Wood River Police Department is very willing to assist any agency when it pertains to any criminal activity. We are a proactive police agency and applaud the Attorney General’s investigators for their work on this case,” said Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells. “Internet cases are very difficult and time-consuming. We are thankful Attorney General Raoul is committed to keeping these investigations ongoing!”
Attorney General Raoul’s office will prosecute the case with assistance from Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten’s office.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with our partners at the Illinois Attorney General’s office. We are grateful for the resources that are provided to us. The men and women that make up the investigatory team, as well as the prosecution unit, are top-notch,” said Goetten. “Smaller jurisdictions like ours are able to provide the protection our communities deserve through their assistance. We will continue to work together to bring predators like Jerry Newby to justice."
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The arrest 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 2021, reports to the ICAC increased by 42% over 2020.
Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC Task Forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 285 local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General's ICAC Task Force has received more than 24,100 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 408 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,840 arrests of sexual predators.
The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to more than 962,779 parents, teachers, and students, in addition to more than 23,250 law enforcement professionals.