Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced today that a Hudson, Illinois man prosecuted by the Attorney General’s office pleaded guilty to the dissemination of child pornography and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. 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.
David L. Howell, 64, was sentenced today by McLean County Circuit Court Judge Jason Chambers after he pleaded guilty to two counts of dissemination of child pornography, Class X felonies. Howell was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his 12-year sentence.
“This guilty plea and sentence hold the offender accountable and prevent him from being able to exploit more innocent children,” Raoul said. “I am proud of the work done by my office’s prosecutors and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that led to this outcome, and I am committed to protecting Illinois families from those who prey on children.”
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 2022, reports to the ICAC increased by 26% over 2021.
Illinois’ ICAC Task Force is one of 61 ICAC task forces throughout the country and is comprised of a network of more than 175 local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Since 2019, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has received more than 38,500 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 620 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 is reminding the public that child sexual exploitation can be reported online 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 Katherine C. Hegarty prosecuted this case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.