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Child Exploitation

Former Illinois State Police trooper indicted for child pornography charges

WHEATON, Ill. - A retired Illinois State Police trooper accused of accessing child pornography while on duty was charged in state court Friday. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Juan Rodriguez, 50, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., was indicted in DuPage County Circuit Court on June 18 for official misconduct, aggravated child pornography, and child pornography.

Rodriguez, a former Illinois State Police trooper, retired from the force in March 2010.

The indictment resulted from an ongoing ICE investigation into the distribution of child pornography over the Internet. It is alleged that during the course of the investigation ICE agents traced access to child pornography back to Rodriguez's Illinois State Police mobile data computer. It is further alleged that Rodriguez accessed the images while on duty as an Illinois State Police trooper.

Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges, and are not proof of the defendant's guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government's burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"ICE aggressively uses its investigative authorities to protect our communities from those who seek to sexually exploit children for their perverse gratification," said Gary Hartwig, ICE special agent in charge in Chicago. "We have an obligation to protect those most vulnerable in our society who cannot protect themselves."

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.