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Local News

Joliet child porn defendant studied cybersecurity: records

Prosecutors seek forfeiture of Joliet man's hard drives, desktop tower

Alejandro Perez-Cervantes
Alejandro Perez-Cervantes

Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of a desktop tower and two external hard drives in a case where a Joliet man faces child pornography charges.

On Thursday, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a complaint seeking forfeiture of a black custom desktop tower, a Rosewill external hard drive and an Archgon external hard drive that belong to Alejandro Perez-Cervantes, 37, of the 3600 block of Judy Court, court records show.

Alejandro was arrested Aug. 20 on charges of child pornography after an Illinois State Police investigation.

He was released from jail the next day after posting 10% of his $100,000 bond. A judge barred him from having contact with minors and using any data, internet, social media or email unless it is for communication with his attorney or the court.

Prosecutors alleged in the forfeiture complaint that state police executed a search warrant on Perez-Cervantes’ residence Aug. 20 and that child pornography was observed on hard drive devices and computers in his bedroom.

The agents saw a program running, downloading and disseminating child pornography, prosecutors said.

Perez-Cervantes initially told one agent that he wished to speak with an attorney before talking to him, but he later said he wanted to talk without an attorney present, prosecutors said.

Perez-Cervantes said that he was a cybersecurity student at Joliet Junior College, according to the forfeiture complaint, and he was in his fourth year of the program.

“He advised that he first started getting into child porn while researching the dark web, approximately three to four years ago,” prosecutors said.

The dark web is sometimes known as darknet, a part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only through specialized anonymity-providing tools.

Perez-Cervantes said he used several online services “to download child porn,” prosecutors said.

“He uses private VPN and pays $28 a year for the service, which allows him to hide his true IP address,” prosecutors said.

The forfeiture case is scheduled for a court hearing Oct. 14.

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