MASCOUTAH — Attorney General Kwame Raoul charged a Mascoutah man with sexual assault and manufacturing and disseminating 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 Zachery Ashby, 30, in St. Clair County Circuit Court with 13 Class X felonies. The charges include three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, each punishable by up to 60 years in prison; three counts of manufacturing child pornography, each punishable by up to 30 years in prison; and seven counts of disseminating child pornography, each punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Sentences are ultimately determined by the court. Ashby is currently detained in the St. Clair County Jail.

Get The Latest News!

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

“I am committed to protecting Illinois families and communities from those who prey on innocent children,” Raoul said. “These charges highlight the vital efforts of my office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which works tirelessly to identify and track down individuals who assault and exploit children.”

Raoul’s investigators, along with officers from the Mascoutah Police Department conducted a search of Ashby’s residence on North 2nd Street on May 10 and arrested Ashby when evidence of child pornography was discovered.

Article continues after sponsor message

The public is reminded that the defendant is 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 2023.

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 40,900 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 720 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 2,010 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 at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.

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

More like this:

Jun 7, 2024 - Attorney General Raoul Charges Jersey Man With Possession Of Child Pornography, Weapon By Felon

4 days ago - Attorney General Raoul Charges Macoupin County Man With Dissemination, Possession Of Child Pornography

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

Apr 12, 2024 - Attorney General Charges St. Clair County Man with Possession of Child Pornography

Apr 21, 2024 - Raoul's Legislation Regarding Child Porn and Use Of Artificial Intelligence To Go To The Senate