Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced a Jersey County man was found guilty after the Attorney General’s office prosecuted him for disseminating child pornography.
Joshua G. Eastham, 38, of Jerseyville, was found guilty on Monday in Jersey County Circuit Court of four counts of disseminating child pornography involving victims under the age of 13, Class X felonies each punishable by six to 30 years in prison. Eastham is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1.
“I am pleased with this guilty verdict, as this offender will now be held accountable for his role in trading online child pornography,” Raoul said. “Child survivors are revictimized each time one of these heinous videos or images are shared or downloaded. I appreciate the collaboration of the Jersey County State’s Attorney’s office and the U.S. Marshal’s in this case.”
Raoul’s office charged Eastham after receiving a CyberTip from the mobile messaging application Kik and discovering evidence of child sexual abuse material during a search of Eastham’s home on Jan. 27, 2022. Along with assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Eastham was apprehended and arrested the following day.
Raoul’s office co-prosecuted the case with Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten.
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 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 32,500 CyberTips and has been involved in more than 485 arrests of sexual predators. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,960 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to more than 1 million parents, teachers and students, in addition to more than 23,850 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 can be reported at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov. In addition, local child advocacy centers can be found at www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.
Assistant Attorney General Shantikumar Kulkarni prosecuted the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.