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Sangamon and Will County arrests bring total to 24 in statewide effort to combat child pornography

 

Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that two suspects, one from Sangamon County and another from Will County, are the 23rd and 24th arrests in ”Operation Glass House” as part of the statewide crackdown on the most active traffickers of online child pornography.

“Operation Glass House is approaching its one-year mark,” Attorney General Madigan said. “While we have made progress in battling the horrific crime of child pornography in Illinois, these arrests demonstrate that we must—and will—continue to pursue these offenders and put them behind bars.”

Will County Arrest

David Zalewski, 42, of Beecher, will appear in bond court this afternoon following his Tuesday, July 26. The Will County Sheriff’s police assisted Attorney General Madigan’s investigators in the arrest after executing a search warrant at Zalewski’s residence in Beecher. Computers and media containing evidence of alleged child pornography were recovered at the scene. Zalewski was taken to the Will County Jail where he was charged with Possession of Aggravated Child Pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). The Will County State’s Attorney’s office will prosecute the case.

Sangamon County Arrest

On Monday, July 25, Sangamon County Sheriff’s officers assisted Madigan investigators in the arrest of David Finley, 27, of Springfield, after a search warrant executed at his residence revealed evidence of alleged child pornography on computers and various media. Finley is being held in the Sangamon County Jail with bond set at $250,000. He is charged with Distribution of Aggravated Child Pornography, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in IDOC, and Possession of Aggravated Child Pornography, a Class 2 felony.

Operation Glass House

In August 2010, Attorney General Madigan announced the initiative, dubbed Operation Glass House, to find and arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois using the unique identifier known as an Internet protocol (IP) address that is assigned to a computer when it accesses the Internet. When Operation Glasshouse began last year, more than 8,000 IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos across the state by the Attorney General’s office investigators. That number today has dropped below 4,700 IP addresses.

Studies have shown that users of child pornography are more likely to be sexual abusers of children. There are 21,400 sex offenders listed on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, of which 85 percent committed a crime against a child. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is located at www.isp.state.il.us.

Madigan also works with local and national law enforcement organizations to address Internet exploitation of children and women. Madigan’s office, with a grant from the Department of Justice, administers the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement. Since 2006, Madigan’s ICAC office has been involved in 367 arrests of sexual predators and provided Internet safety training and education to more than 128,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 10,000 law enforcement professionals.

The public is reminded that both defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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