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Child Exploitation

2 Illinois men indicted on child pornography charges

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two Illinois men were indicted Wednesday on child pornography charges in two separate cases. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Douglas County Sheriff's Office; East Central Illinois Cyber Crimes Working Group; and the police departments of Champaign, Ill. and Urbana, Ill.

Parrish Kappes, 46, and Zachary M. Vincent, 21, both of Tuscola, Ill., were previously charged by criminal complaint and were each charged Nov. 7 in separate cases.

The indictment returned Nov. 7 charges Kappes with three counts of distributing child pornography in August and September 2012, and one count of possessing child pornography on Oct. 15. Kappes was arrested Oct. 16. U.S. Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal ordered Kappes to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Vincent, who was also arrested Oct. 16, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernthal and was ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. The indictment returned Nov. 7 charges Vincent with two counts of distributing child pornography in September 2012, one count of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography, both on Oct. 15.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of distribution and of receipt of child pornography is a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release. If a defendant has a prior child sex abuse or child pornography conviction, the statutory penalty is a minimum of 15 years and up to 40 years in prison. For possession of child pornography, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.

Each indictment seeks forfeiture of computers and related materials allegedly used to commit or promote the offenses.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or its online resource for reporting child sexual exploitation.

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce,  an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.