Crime

O’Fallon man charged with sexually abusing teenager

Federal program targets online child predators

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.
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The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was developed federally in 1998 as the number of children and teenagers using the internet increased and child sexual abuse images became available electronically, authorities say.

A 34-year-old O’Fallon man was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing a teenager.

Fred E. Cooks is accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 13 and 17.

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Cooks with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to a news release.

The release states Cooks was arrested after a complaint was filed with the O’Fallon Police Department on Dec. 1.

Cooks was being held Wednesday on a $100,000 bail, according to the release.

Lexi Cortes covers the issues and events in education that matter to metro-east students, parents and taxpayers. She won a first-place award from the Illinois Press Association in 2018 for her work on a series of stories about proposals to increase sales tax rates, focusing on how those increases could affect schools and residents.


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