BRIGHTON — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has announced an arrest of a Macoupin County man on child pornography charges.
38-year-old Robert C. Owens of Brighton faces charges in Macoupin County Circuit Court with five counts of possession of child pornography. Each charge, a Class 2 felony, is punishable by up to three to seven years in prison. Owens’ bond is currently at $75,000.
Raoul’s investigators along with the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department and Brighton Police stopped Owens on his way to work on Tuesday to execute a search warrant. Owens was arrested after law enforcement allegedly discovered evidence of child pornography. The Attorney General’s office will prosecute the case with Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan J. Garrison’s office.
Remarks on Owens’ arrest
“Child pornography exploits children and causes irreversible trauma to victims and their families,” Raoul said in a press release Thursday afternoon. “The partnerships between my office and local law enforcement through the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are vital to my office’s work to track down and hold those who perpetrate these horrific crimes accountable.”
“Investigating these cases can be a difficult and time-consuming process, so I would like to thank the Attorney General’s office for their assistance,” said Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl. “I’m proud of the work that we do to stop these offenders and keep our communities safe.”
“The Brighton Police Department appreciates the hard work and dedication of the Attorney General’s Office Task Force,” said Brighton Police Department Sgt. Dustin Ford. “Crimes against our most vulnerable citizens, our children, cannot be tolerated. Serving alongside the Attorney General’s office and other law enforcement is always an honor.”
“My thanks to the Attorney General’s office, the Macoupin Sheriff’s office, and the Brighton Police Department for their work in investigating this case,” Garrison said. “Collaborations between law enforcement organizations like this one are vital for finding and stopping those who commit these terrible crimes.”
Owens is currently in Macoupin County Jail awaiting a first appearance in court. The defendant has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law.
Arrest part of Raoul’s work to investigate and prosecute child pornographers in the state of Illinois
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. ICAC investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies.
Since 2006, the Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force has been part of more than 1,780 arrests of sexual predators. The task force also provides internet safety training and education to more than 953,500 parents, teachers, and students, and more than 23,100 law enforcement professionals.
Jake Leonard contributed to this report with information from the press release from Attorney General Raoul’s office available Thursday afternoon.
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Cox is a broadcast media and journalism veteran currently working as news director for WLDS/WEAI in Jacksonville, Ill. He is also chairman of the Morgan County Libertarian Party.
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