.

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. 

Ercie Berwick October 13, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Elmhurst, I am told, is #1 in the nation when it comes to pornography. The taxes are high, it's lily-white, but it's the porn capital of the nation! Bleh!
NancyC October 13, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Does our illustrious school system embrace porn? Read this and ask : http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/10/is-lgbt-history-month-bringing-porn-to-a-school-near-you/
Ercie Berwick October 13, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I am deeply troubled with what is going on in our nation and, in particular, in the public schools of America. I have no idea how far they are willing to go with our kids. I am so happy that nine of my ten grandchildren were homeschooled. So happy about that!!!
Lawrence Gunther October 13, 2013 at 05:58 PM
good to know that baseless bigotry still exists on the Patch...perhaps more schooling is needed?
Ercie Berwick October 13, 2013 at 06:05 PM
"Baseless bigotry" as pertaining to what? Are you referring to the ruthless brainwashing of our children? I used to think our public schools existed for the sole purpose of teaching "readin', writin, and 'rithmetic." When did all that change to include sexual orientation and other areas of baloney? When did the public schools take it upon themselves to become teaching institutions of anything other than the academics?
Lawrence Gunther October 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Oh Snap! I forgot about the sexual orientation class I had to take at York....oh wait I didn't. Thanks for playing, have a great day!
Ercie Berwick October 13, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I don't know what you're talking about. Do YOU know what you're talking about?
Ken October 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Ercie----Elmhurst is NOT the child porn capital of the nation. Quit spreading lies. Secondly, if you don't like the taxes here and don't like being with 'lily white' folks why don't you move to Maywood or Bellwood? I'm sure they'd welcome you with open arms there.
Leo October 14, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Why do you say Elmhurst is the Porn Capital, oh because all the porn hits. The reason is because Comcast’s Headquarters is based in Elmhurst. For example, if someone from Chicago, who has Comcast, searches porn, it will show Elmhurst, not Chicago. Glad people investigate things before they say something, makes them sound extremely intelligent. Check you facts before you open your mouth.
Ercie Berwick October 14, 2013 at 02:50 PM
I have relatives who live in Maywood, Ken. What's wrong with living in Maywood, or Bellwood for that matter? Something wrong with that? Well? I'm waiting for your racist response.
Leo October 14, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I didn’t see where Ken said anything racist, he just said that if you don’t like it here then move. I did see a racist comment by Ercie Berwick, saying this Elmhurst is “lily-white”. Nobody said anything about race. Again, get your facts straight before you make a comment. It is a fact that Elmhurst is primarily white and Bellwood and Maywood is primarily black. There is not racist comment, just a fact. Here is the proof to back up that statement. http://www.city-data.com/city/Maywood-Illinois.html • Black alone - 17,781 (73.8%) • Hispanic - 4,999 (20.8%) • White alone - 891 (3.7%) http://www.city-data.com/city/Bellwood-Illinois.html • Black alone - 14,240 (74.7%) • Hispanic - 3,596 (18.9%) • White alone - 907 (4.8%) http://www.city-data.com/city/Elmhurst-Illinois.html • White alone - 37,674 (85.8%) • Asian alone - 2,619 (6.0%) • Hispanic - 2,343 (5.3%) • Black alone - 660 (1.5%)
Ken October 14, 2013 at 07:42 PM
That calling someone 'racist' to win an argument doesn't work anymore. Again, Ercie, if you don't like living in 'lily white' Elmhurst then why don't you leave and go live somewhere where it's not 'lily white' like Maywood or Bellwood?
NancyC October 14, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Here is another example of porn in our public high schools:http://politicaloutcast.com/2013/10/high-school-play-portrays-sex-goat/ It is every where. Protect our youth.
Jim Court October 15, 2013 at 09:18 AM
All ethnic groups tend to congregate with those similar to themselves. Elmhurst is no different. Even within Elmhurst there is a certain stratification based on incomes. People tend to feel comfortable with those who reflect their education, values, beliefs, and behaviors. Leo is absolutely correct about Comcast and how it skews statistics that reflects improperly on Elmhurst. This is the generation of MTV, Honey boo boo, which I personally find disgusting. History Channel is now the Hillbilly Channel, yet it is very successful. I am not sure what generation watches this but it appears that the lowest common denominator mentality is now prevalent. Although I have the soul of a country boy, I very much value education and this is why I am always encouraged when I see a new home being built. I would think that a fair share of these people are ambitious and educated. I am glad when I see the Hatfields and MCCoys leave town and do not pretend that Elmhurst does not have its fair share of this. Having been a landlord and tried to deal with section 8, I am not a fan of this. I do understand parents wanting to get their children out of bad neighborhoods as long as they do not bring the mentality of these neighborhoods with them as they often, but not always, do. Elmhurst has so many positives going for it yet we should want it to constantly evolve into a better place. The City Manager, Jim Grabowski is a genuinely nice man who I believes has the best interest of the City in mind. What a difference we are compared to Villa Park, who has many hostile and angry individuals in key positions. We are a much friendlier community and the new Police Chief brings many positives. I do not think he has a "us against the citizens mentality that seems so prevalent in Villa Park. We are lucky to be in Elmhurst.
Ercie Berwick October 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Leo, put on your thinking cap and THINK! Not by any stretch of the imagination is my using the phrase "lily-white Elmhurst" a racist comment. Since when was the Civil War fought to free white people and since when was the Civil Rights issue due to white people having been treated as less than equal? Get with the program!
Leo October 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Well Ercie, as a Caucasian, white individual, I do take offense to that phrase, just like I take offense to the word "honky" or "cracker". If I call an Africian-American or Hispanic a derogatory name then I'm a racist, but if someone calls me one because I'm white, it is not a racist comment. I think you should get with the program! White people (another racist comment) they are caucasian have been treated less than equal, it is called Afirmative Action. Lets not promote or hire the best person for the job, lets give it to a minority. I know a lot of causcasian familys that struggle to make ends meet and they can't get any type of financial assistance from the government, but others I know who are minorities make more than the causcasian family are ENTITLED to the financial assistance. So when you say white people have been treated as less than equal, yes they have.
Ercie Berwick October 17, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Oh, well, then, if you feel that white people have been treated as less than equal, you at least have a slight taste of how our black American citizens felt for so many years before the Civil War, right? Stop your whining!
Rick Mares October 17, 2013 at 07:52 AM
Ercie, are you saying that because White people never went through something such as the Black people (i.e. slavery), that there is no possible way to make a racist comment about White people? Regarding your last statement, do you teach your grandchildren that two wrongs make a right? Also, it's parents and grandparents that teach racism, kids aren't inherently racist. I hope you're not perpetuating it with yours. Even a simple comment like "lily-white" to a child can plant the seeds of racism.
Ercie Berwick October 17, 2013 at 12:57 PM
You have missed my point, Rick, and I'm sorry about that.
NancyC October 17, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Porn harms and here is an organization fighting it: http://pornharms.com/
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.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »