Belleville man Joseph Millard, 49, was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges of downloading and distributing child pornography. He's being held on a $500,000 bond, and faces six to thirty years per charge in prison if found guilty.
Those are big numbers, but check this out.
Millard was caught by Operation Glass House, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's concerted effort to track and apprehend the worst child pornographers in the state. The project classifies "worst" as one of the people trading a series of extremely violent child-rape videos; Millard is the 30th person arrested by the project since its inception in 2010.
That's horrific, but the Belleville News-Democrat
notes that Operation Glass House's methodology revealed something worse.
To track child pornographers online, investigators use the unique identifier that each computer is assigned when it accesses the Internet. In the last 120 days, 3,200 Illinois computer addresses were seen trading child pornography images and by Attorney General's office investigators.
We tend to think of these people as aberrations, deviations from the norm. But more than 3,000 individuals watching and trading child porn feels like something more than a statistical minority.