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Elmhurst, Villa Park Residents Arrested in Child Porn Raids

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says photographs discovered as part of Operation Glass House are "some of the vilest images imaginable."

Brian Gondek of Elmhurst was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff's Office)
Brian Gondek of Elmhurst was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff's Office)

An Elmhurst man and a Villa Park man have been charged with possession of child pornography following separate raids last week, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office.

Brian Gondek, 54, of Elmhurst, was arrested Thursday, Oct. 10, and charged with one count of possession of child pornography after Elmhurst police and state investigators searched his apartment on Arlington Avenue. He was released on $200,000 bond, according to sheriff's department records. His next court date is Oct. 21.

"Elmhurst police are committed to protecting all our residents, particularly our children, in the community and when they go online," Elmhurst Police Chief Michael Ruth was quoted as saying in Friday's announcement.

State, DuPage County and Villa Park police searched the Michigan Avenue townhouse of Steven Friesen, 45,  Wednesday, Oct. 9. He is charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, and as of Sunday, he was still being held in DuPage County Jail on $250,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 23.

The arrests bring to 50 the total number of offenders apprehended for child pornography since 2010 in Operation Glass House, according to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Its mission is to bring down offenders who most actively download and trade child pornography.

In 2010, the first year of Operation Glass House, Madigan’s investigations revealed a disturbing trend of offenders trading extremely violent videos of young children being raped. As a result, Operation Glass House has focused on apprehending offenders who are seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving children, including infants and toddlers.

"Online child pornography is a real and significant threat to children who are victimized each time an image is downloaded or traded," Madigan said, referring to what has been confiscated so far as "some of the vilest images imaginable."

Possession of child pornography is a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin's office will prosecute both cases.

"Every year, child pornography claims millions of victims one image at a time," Berlin said. He thanked Madigan's Illinois Crimes Against Children Task Force for "protecting children from those who would do them harm." ICAC has been involved in 622 arrests of sexual predators since 2006.

Patch reports on law enforcement activity using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

fred October 19, 2013 at 12:41 AM
Appreciate the posts Nancy. We do have to watch what is fed to our kids.
fred October 19, 2013 at 12:46 AM
@Ercie..as a white mid aged male, there are government jobs I would not even bother to apply. Affirmative action has really reached its peak and is now at a point it is not needed. There are enough blacks in high positions that if they want to hire other blacks no one would be for the worse. But when the HR office has to meet some mandated hiring quota which has no place for the white male, well, I won't even bother with trying. And lily white has a fair tinge of racism whether intended or not. I realize you may not agree with anything I said but, hey, we all have opinions. No anger, just voicing.
Ken October 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM
"Diversity" is the new affirmative action. You hear it all over the place now---except when minorities are the majority. I worked at a very large manufacturing company that paid its employees very well---$20 to $35 an hour was the norm on the production floor. The production floor (3 shifts) was 90% minority. No one was talking about 'diversity' there like they do at other companies where the whites are the majority. Look at the websites of your major academic institutions. They all boast about their 'diverse' student and faculties and how they strive for it. However, if you go to the websites of Chicago State or Malcolm X or any of the black colleges you won't see any talk about diversity. All the once 'lily white' suburbs must strive for diversity and are punished by the Feds if they discriminate or curtail Section 8 applicants but not so for our black suburbs.
Ercie Berwick October 19, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Affirmative action had its place once upon a time, but I don't think it does anymore. But we still have to remain vigilant because racism is still alive and well in this nation. It's so thick within the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress, one can cut it with a knife. ;(
fred October 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
@Ken...interesting point. I would maybe fine tune your thought and state that I believe diversity is more of a result of affirmative action. Or a major way in which AA manifests itself in today's corporate world, as well as many organizations and institutions.

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