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July 26, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL: MARSHALL MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced that a Marshall man was charged with possessing child pornography. The case is part of Raoul’s ongoing work to apprehend offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

John D. Pitts, 49, of Marshall, Illinois, was charged in Clark County Circuit Court with five counts of possession of child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by up to three to seven years in prison. Pitts’ bond is set at $50,000.

“Child pornography leaves victims and their families with lifelong trauma,” Raoul said. “I am committed to partnering with local law enforcement agencies through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to protect the public and help victims obtain justice.”

Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Marshall Police Department, conducted a search of a residence Thursday, July 22, in the 1100 block of Locust Street in Marshall and arrested Pitts after discovering evidence of child pornography. The Attorney General’s office will prosecute the case with Clark County State’s Attorney Kyle Hutson’s office. Additionally, Hutson’s office charged Pitts with possession of a weapon by a felon.

“We appreciate the Attorney General’s partnership with our local law enforcement agencies, and we look forward to working in conjunction with his office in the joint commitment to investigate and prosecute child exploitation crimes in Illinois,” Hutson said.

“The Marshall Police Department takes the victimization of children seriously,” Marshall Police Chief Chris Smithson said. “We are grateful for the partnerships with the Attorney General's office and other law enforcement agencies to track down and stop those who download and share these images.”

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

The arrest 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. Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been involved in more than 1,780 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also has provided internet safety training and education to more than 953,500 parents, teachers and students and more than 23,100 law enforcement professionals.

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