Chicago-area man charged with producing child pornography
CHICAGO — A federal grand jury indicted a Chicago-area man for producing child pornography by allegedly recording minor boys having sexual acts performed on them.
These charges were announced by the following agency heads: Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; James M. Gibbons, special agent-in-charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago; and Dennis A. Wichern, special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago Field Division.
Douglas A. Willis, 53, of Naperville, Illinois, is charged with one count of conspiring to produce child pornography, and one count of producing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday during an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary M. Rowland in Chicago.
According to the indictment, Willis and an unindicted co-conspirator agreed that the co-conspirator would recruit minor boys to engage in sex acts and pose for nude photos and videos in exchange for money. The co-conspirator, who is identified in the indictment as Individual A, brought the boys to Willis’ residence, where the boys were given controlled substances and alcohol to gain their compliance and reduce their inhibitions, the indictment states.
Willis took photographs and videos of the boys displaying their genitals and having sex acts performed on them by Individual A, according to the indictment. On occasion, Individual A took photographs and videos of the boys having sex acts performed on them by Willis, the indictment states.
Willis paid the boys and Individual A kept copies of the recordings, according to the indictment.
The alleged conduct charged in the indictment began in September 1993 and continued until at least August 2001. Federal authorities pursued the charges after recently discovering evidence in the case.
Each count of the indictment carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years, and a maximum of 20 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney April M. Perry, Northern District of Illinois, is prosecuting this case.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 14,000 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 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 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.