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Published on May 16, 2024
Mascoutah Man Faces Multiple Felony Charges in Child Sexual Assault, Pornography CaseSource: Unsplash/Tingey Injury Law Firm

Alleged predator behind bars: Zachery Ashby, 30, a resident of Mascoutah, is facing a slew of felony charges for sexual assault and child pornography, as announced by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The charged individual sits in St. Clair County Jail, with potential sentences accumulating to centuries in prison if convicted on all counts.

On the case's gritty details, the Illinois Attorney General's official news release reports that Ashby has been slapped with 13 Class X felonies that include three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, each punishable by up to 60 years in prison, and also faces charges for manufacturing and disseminating child pornography, with every count carrying a maximum of 30 years in the can.

Raoul has expressed his staunch commitment to safeguarding children and communities, and the meticulous work by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is instrumental in apprehending such offenders – Ashby's arrest sprang from a joint effort between Raoul's investigators and the Mascoutah Police Department after a search warrant executed at his home uncovered some damning evidence.

In a statement complemented by reports of significant increases in CyberTipline reports in the past year, the office emphasizes the spike by 46% over the previous year, evidencing a deep-seated and disturbing trend in crimes against children, the ICAC Task Force, having arrested over 720 sexual predators since 2019, has decidedly made headway yet the sheer volume of reports accentuates the persistent scourge of internet-fueled child exploitation," according to the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

The public is being reminded that Ashby's innocence is preserved until proven otherwise; however, those troubled by potential online child sexual exploitation are urged to make reports at www.cybertipline.com. Jennifer Peck, an Assistant Attorney General, is tasked with prosecuting the case for the High Tech Crimes Bureau, ensuring that such menacing acts, when proven, do not go unpunished.