Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced late last week that a Fayette County man was charged with soliciting and possessing child pornography.
The case is part of the Attorney General’s ongoing work to apprehend offenders who download and trade child pornography online.
Thomas Scott, 59, of Vandalia, was charged in Fayette County Circuit Court with six counts of possession of child pornography, each a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, according to court records.
The office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison filed information charging Scott with child pornography possession on Friday, and he made his first appearance in court that day in front of Judge Marc Kelly.
Representing the state for that hearing were Assistant State’s Attorney David Sternau and Assistant Attorney General Shannon O’Brien.
During his first appearance, Kelly set Scott’s bond at $100,000 and appointed Fayette County Public Defender William Starnes to represent Scott.
“Child pornography victimizes children and their families and negatively impacts the communities in which it occurs,” Raoul said.
“I am committed to continuing to work with local law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals who possess and share these horrific images.”
Raoul’s investigators, with the assistance of the Vandalia Police Department, conducted a search of a residence on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the 1900 block of West Randolph Street in Vandalia and arrested Scott after discovering evidence that he allegedly possessed child pornography.
The Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case along with the Fayette County State’s Attorney’s office.
The charges alleges that on Wednesday of last week, Scott possessed computer files of a child “whom defendant reasonably should have known to be under the age of 13” engaged in sexual acts.
“Thanks to the men and women of the Attorney General’s Office and the Vandalia Police for all of their hard work in bringing this case to light,” Morrison said.
“The Fayette County State’s Attorney’s office remains dedicated to combating crimes of all nature and severity. Great job to everyone,” he said.
“We always appreciate when the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is able to do work in our area,” said Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray.
“The task force is always great to work with and a great asset to law enforcement.”
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The arrest is part of 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 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 1,700 arrests of sexual predators.
The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 950,000 parents, teachers and students and more than 22,000 law enforcement professionals.