MACOUPIN COUNTY - A Brighton man - 38-year-old Robert C. Owens - has been charged with five counts of possession of child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by up to three to seven years in prison. Owens’ bond is set at $75,000.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced the charges against Owens. The case is part of Raoul’s ongoing work to apprehend offenders who download and trade child pornography online. Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Macoupin County Sheriff’s office and the Brighton Police Department, stopped Owens while he was driving to work Tuesday, Sept. 14, to execute a search warrant.

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Owens was arrested after discovering evidence of child pornography. The Attorney General’s office will prosecute the case with Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan J. Garrison’s office.

“Child pornography exploits children and causes irreversible trauma to victims and their families,” Raoul said. “The partnerships between my office and local law enforcement through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are vital to my office’s work to track down and hold those who perpetuate these horrific crimes accountable.”

Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl said: “Investigating these cases can be a difficult and time-consuming process, so I would like to thank the Attorney General’s office for their assistance. “I’m proud of the work that we do to stop these offenders and keep our communities safe.”

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Brighton Police Department Sgt. Dustin Ford this statement: "The Brighton Police Department appreciates the hard work and dedication of the Attorney General’s Office Task Force. “Crimes against our most vulnerable citizens, our children, cannot be tolerated. Serving alongside the Attorney General’s office and other law enforcement is always an honor.”

“My thanks to the Attorney General’s office, the Macoupin Sheriff’s office and the Brighton Police Department for their work in investigating this case,” Garrison said. “Collaborations between law enforcement organizations like this one are vital for finding and stopping those who commit these terrible crimes.”

The public is reminded that 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 theIllinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,780 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to more than 953,500 parents, teachers and students and more than 23,100 law enforcement professionals.

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