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July 19, 2013

MADIGAN: ALTON MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Springfield — An Alton man has been charged with multiple counts of child pornography as part of Operation Glass House, a statewide initiative Attorney General Lisa Madigan launched to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Donald L. Phillips, Sr., 66, is charged with three counts of distribution of child pornography, Class X felonies punishable by six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Phillips is being held in the Madison County Jail with bond set at $150,000.

“Possessing child pornography is a crime far more horrific anyone can imagine. Every time an image of a child being sexually assaulted is viewed, it perpetuates the initial offense, further scaring these innocent victims,” Madigan said. “My office will continue to be relentless in targeting these offenders.”

Madigan’s investigators, with the assistance of the Alton Police Department and the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, conducted a search of Phillips’ residence in the 3400 block of Fullerton Ave. and the arrest was made after evidence of alleged child pornography was located. Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons’ office will prosecute the case.

“Crimes involving children, especially those of a sexual nature, are some of the worst imaginable for our community. To ensure that citizens are safe, especially our children, we must be vigilant in our fight to locate, arrest and prosecute those who would delve into the depths of depravity by possessing and distributing child pornography,” Gibbons said. “Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her team continue to lead the charge in the battle against child pornography, and I want to applaud them for their hard work and leadership in the fight to protect our children and our community. Working together, the Attorney General’s Office, the Alton Police Department and the State’s Attorney’s Office have been able to remove a potential predator from our midst.”

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“It is always exciting to work with the Attorney General’s Office on cases. I commend the work of everyone involved so that predators can be caught before their behavior escalates to entering the community and harming one of our children,” said Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons.

This is the 45th arrest since Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010 to investigate the most active child pornography traders in Illinois. In 2010, the first year of Operation Glass House, Madigan’s investigations revealed a disturbing trend of offenders trading extremely violent videos of young children being raped. As a result, Operation Glass House has focused on apprehending offenders who are seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving children, including infants and toddlers.

Madigan’s office, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in 586 arrests of sexual predators. The Task Force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 298,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 16,000 law enforcement professionals. Currently, 186 agencies are affiliated with the Illinois ICAC.

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