Granite City Resident is a Missouri Elementary School Teacher
Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced the Attorney General’s office has charged a Madison County man with allegedly possessing and reproducing 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 child pornography online.
Raoul’s office charged Ralph D. Hailey III, 46, of Granite City, Illinois, in Madison County Circuit Court with reproduction of child pornography, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison; and possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Hailey’s bond was set at $300,000.
“Individuals who exploit innocent children through the dissemination of child pornography must be held accountable,” Raoul said. “These horrific images can potentially leave life-long scars, which is why my office’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force works diligently to protect children from these predators. I am proud of the task force’s work, in this case with the Granite City Police Department, to keep our communities safe.”
Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Granite City Police Department and the United States Secret Service, conducted a search of Hailey’s residence in the 30 block of Steelecrest Drive in Granite City and arrested him after discovering evidence of child pornography. Attorney General Raoul’s office will prosecute the case. Hailey is employed as a computer science teacher for Gibson Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri.
“The U.S. Secret Service remains committed to supporting our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who work collectively to protect our community’s children,” said U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Stephen Webster. “These dedicated agencies working in such seamless partnership with each other ensure that alleged predators are brought before our judicial system to answer for their charges.”
The public is reminded the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case 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.
Raoul reminds the public that online child sexual exploitation can be reported at www.cybertipline.com, and child abuse can be reported at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.
Bureau Chief David Haslett is handling the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.