Waukegan, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Thursday her continuing statewide crackdown on child pornography resulted in the arrest of a Lake County man purported to be one of the leading child pornography offenders in the county. The arrest of Allen Ayen, 62, is the fifth since Madigan began a focused effort to target the most active participants in downloading and trading child pornography on the Internet.
Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Waller joined Madigan at an afternoon press conference to announce that Ayen, of Park City, was arrested Wednesday, September 22, and charged with five counts of aggravated child pornography, a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and one count of possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Ayen appeared in court Thursday morning for a bond hearing. The court set his bond at $500,000.
"Ayen was one of the most prolific child pornography traders in Lake County," Madigan said in a statement on her Web site. "Investigators found more than 1,000 child pornography images and more than 700 child pornography videos in Ayen’s possession."
“Child pornographers victimize innocent children and destroy their lives,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Every time these horrid images are downloaded or traded on the Internet these children are revictimized.”
Cooperation between the Attorney General’s office and local officials has been vital in the success of the ongoing statewide crackdown on child porn.
“The assistance of Attorney General Madigan and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office helped make this arrest possible,” said Park City Police Chief Walter Holderbaum. “We don’t have all the resources necessary to work these types of investigations alone.”
“The child pornography industry poses a great danger to our children. By working with Attorney General Madigan, we have brought to justice a defendant who was in possession of over 700 obscene and disturbing videos and who had helped finance the abuse and exploitation of hundreds of children,” State’s Attorney Michael Waller said.
Last month, Attorney General Madigan announced a new initiative to find and arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois by tracking them using the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet. This identifier is known as an Internet protocol (IP) address. In the past 30 days, more than 8,000 Illinois IP addresses were seen trading child pornography images and videos. Madigan plans to continue this work to investigate and arrest child pornographers.
“What these Internet predators should know is the technology they use to abuse children and share child pornography is the same technology law enforcement will use to track and prosecute them,” Madigan said. “These arrests are your warning: we can find you, and we will arrest you for your crimes.”
Studies have shown that users of child pornography are more likely to also be sexual abusers of children. A total of 24,560 sex offenders are listed on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry, of which more than 81 percent committed a crime against a child. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is located at www.isp.state.il.us.
Along with this initiative to arrest the worst child pornographers in Illinois, 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, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement. Since 2006, Madigan’s office has been involved in more than 300 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.