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November 15, 2013

MADIGAN: TWO ARRESTS IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY STING IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

Springfield — Two Southern Illinois men are the latest charged with felony possession of child pornography following raids this week in White and Franklin counties. They became the 51st and 52nd arrests in “Operation Glass House,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

“Our partnership with local law enforcement has focused on the worst offenders of this heinous crime,” Madigan said. “Online child pornography is a real and significant threat and a horrific crime that victimizes children each time an image is downloaded or traded.”

Donald H. Currier III, 64, of Carmi, was charged Wednesday with seven counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). According to White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud, Currier bonded out of the White County Jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bond. In addition, Currier is barred from any cameras, computers and access to the Internet along with not being around children. A first court appearance is set for Dec. 12 in White County Circuit Court.

Madigan’s investigators, with the assistance of the White County Sheriff’s office, Carmi Police and State’s Attorney Aud’s office, executed a search warrant early Wednesday at Currier’s residence in the 800 block of Steward Street, where evidence of alleged child pornography was located.

“We are appreciative of this combined effort and are always ready to assist in prosecuting purveyors of child pornography,” said Carmi Police Chief Randy Hamblin.

Billy Gene Sullivan, 43, of West Frankfort, was charged with one count of Class X reproduction of child pornography, punishable by six to 30 years in the IDOC and one count of Class 2 child pornography. Sullivan is in custody at the Franklin County Jail pending a court appearance next week. Franklin County Sheriff’s officers and West Frankfort Police assisted Madigan’s investigators in a search early Thursday of Sullivan’s residence in the 700 block of East Fourth Street, where evidence of child pornography was found.

“I thank Attorney General Madigan and her staff for their professionalism and expertise in assisting our department,” West Frankfort Police Chief Shawn Talluto said. “It helps expand our limited resources.”

Franklin County State’s Attorney Evan Owens will prosecute the case.

The public is reminded that the defendants in these cases are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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 629 arrests of sexual predators. The Task Force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 308,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 16,700 law enforcement professionals. Currently, 189 agencies are affiliated with the Illinois ICAC.

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