Illinois’ Attorney General Focuses on Child Pornography Enforcement

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Federal Crimes, Felonies |

Charges Brought Against Illinois Resident for Dissemination and Possession of Child Pornography by AG’s Office

Earlier this week, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office under Kwame Raoul announced several charges against a Brighton man, David Crane, in the Macoupin County Circuit Court after officers conducted a search of Crane’s residence that turned up evidence of child pornography. The Attorney General Office runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (“ICAC”) Task Force which investigates possible child exploitation crimes through reports of possible child pornography through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”), a nonprofit established by Congress. Crane’s arrest, who was ultimately charged with one count of dissemination of child pornography of a victim under 13 years old and 10 counts of possession of child pornography, is 1 of 755 arrests of possible sexual predators since 2019 connected to the ICAC Task Force. The attention to child pornography in the State is worthy of the Attorney General’s attention, as it was reported in 2023 that the ICAC Task Force saw a 46% increase in reports of possible child exploitation crimes from 2022. “Children who survive exploitation can face a lifetime of trauma, which is why we must help them receive justice by holding the offenders who commit these horrific crimes accountable,” Raoul said, “I will continue to work with state and local authorities to ensure these individuals are unable to victimize other innocent children.” Child pornography cases are regularly prosecuted in both state and federal courts.

Bill Extending Child Pornography Laws to Include AI Created Images Proceeds to Governor Pritzker’s Desk

Legislation that would apply Illinois’ child pornography laws to artificially generated images passed the Senate late last month and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature to become a law after it had previously passed the House. The legislation was initiated by Attorney General Raoul after he found that artificial intelligence generated images and videos presented “an increasing concern and … one that we need to get addressed before the technology outpaces our ability to distinguish between AI images and images of real children.” The FBI has reported that they have found an alarming increase in the use of generative AI technology and services to create child pornography by altering real photos of clothed children. Under the existing structure, prosecutions related to these altered images presents possible obstacles to connect it to prohibited conduct, leaving avenues ripe for charged individuals to challenge the allegations. Even under the proposed legislation, if passed, questions will remain and there are still many avenues to challenge prosecutions. For example, the legality of certain law enforcement investigatory tactics will still be subject to scrutiny. Anyone accused of possession or dissemination of child pornography should consult with an attorney experienced in this area who is familiar with some of the many defenses and challenges available.


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