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February 22, 2018Chicago, IL, United StatesChild Exploitation

Chicago-area attorney sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography

CHICAGO — A Chicago-area attorney was sentenced earlier this month to four years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Douglas A. Willis, 54, of Naperville, Illinois, was sentenced Feb. 8 to 48 months federal in prison for possessing child pornography.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release.  During his supervised release, Willis must register as a sex offender, and participate in a sex offender treatment program.

Willis is also required to pay $50,000 restitution to his victims.

Willis, who was licensed as an attorney in 1988, was disbarred and is no longer authorized to practice law, according to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC).

“HSI will continue to work closely with its federal, state, and local partners to hold these dangerous sexual predators accountable for their actions,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons. “Along with our partner agencies, the men and women of HSI are dedicated to relentlessly seeking justice for the victims of these horrendous crimes.”

Willis was originally indicted on these charges in August 2016. 

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page  HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.