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June 19, 2014


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against a Lake County man on multiple counts of possession and reproduction of child pornography as part of "Operation Glass House," her statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Mark Galer, 55, of Lindenhurst, was arrested after investigators with Madigan's office and the Lindenhurst Police Department executed a search warrant at his home in the 2200 block of Valley Drive. Galer was charged with reproduction of child pornography, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison, and four counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. The Circuit Court of Lake County set Galer's bond at $250,000.

"The spread of child pornography online has led to an epidemic of child exploitation," Madigan said. "These criminals are lurking behind closed doors, trading and downloading vile images of children being sexually abused. What they may not realize, though, is that we can track what they're doing online, and we will continue to be relentless in apprehending the state's worst offenders for destroying the lives of these innocent victims."

This is the 61st arrest since Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010. Investigations by Madigan's High Tech Crimes Bureau have revealed a disturbing community of criminals who are trading and viewing extremely violent videos of children as young as infants being raped and abused.

The Lake County State's Attorney's Office will prosecute the case.

"The number and complexity of these cases illustrates the need to have cooperation between agencies," said Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim. "I am proud of the continued and collaborative relationship my office has with the Attorney General's Office and of the success that we have had in investigating and prosecuting this horrible crime."

In addition to Operation Glass House, Madigan leads the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Task Force investigates child exploitation crimes and trains local and county level law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois to do the same. Since 2006, Madigan's ICAC task force has been involved in 769 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 367,400 parents, teachers and students and more than 17,500 law enforcement professionals.

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


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