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.

The metro-east is home for investigative reporter Lexi Cortes. She was raised in Granite City, went to school in Edwardsville and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat since 2014, winning multiple state awards for her investigative and community service reporting.
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