ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL: WILL COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY, SENTENCED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a Will County man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child.
Jeremy Coates, 39, of Frankfort, Illinois, was sentenced on Wednesday by Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer H. Bauknecht after pleading guilty to a Class X felony count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Coates will be required to serve 85% of his 25-year sentence.
“This sentencing highlights the importance of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in tracking down and prosecuting individuals who assault and exploit children,” Raoul said. “My office will continue to partner with local law enforcement and states attorney’s offices throughout Illinois to ensure justice for victims of exploitation and sexual assault.”
Prosecutors alleged that Coates sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 and was involved in producing, trading and possessing child pornography. After receiving a CyberTip, investigators conducted a search of Coates’ residence, where evidence of child pornography was discovered. Coates was arrested June 24, 2020 on charges of possession of child pornography. The charges against Coates were updated when further investigation uncovered evidence of sexual assault and production of child pornography.
The Attorney General’s office prosecuted the case with Livingston County State’s Attorney Randy Yedinak’s office.
“I would like to thank the Illinois Attorney General’s office and local law enforcement for their assistance in ensuring a dangerous predator is off our streets,” Yedinak said. “Anyone who commits heinous crimes against children will be held accountable under the 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 fact, reports to the ICAC during 2021 increased by 42% over 2020.
In response to increasing reports of online child exploitation, Raoul announced a series of ICAC webinars aimed at giving parents, guardians and educators tools to help children and teens foster healthy online interactions. The free webinars teach parents and guardians about the social media apps children and teens may be using, how to identify signs that a child may have been a victim of online child solicitation, and more. To find out how to register for upcoming summer webinars or to view recorded webinars visit www.OnlineSafeOnlineSmart.com or email Karilyn.Orr@ilag.gov to be added to our contact list.
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, and the task force covers 101 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Since 2019, the Attorney General's ICAC Task Force has received more than 19,500 CyberTips and been involved in more than 203 arrests of sexual predators. 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.
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 here: childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org.
Deputy Bureau Chief Shannon O’Brien handled the case for Raoul’s High Tech Crimes Bureau.