Belleville man posing as photographer charged with child porn

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) – St. Clair County authorities charged a Belleville man with creating child pornography and child sexual abuse Wednesday.

39-year-old Joseph E. Suggs of the 3400 block of Sheridan in Belleville is accused of four felony charges.

Belleville Police responding to a complaint of suspicious activity at a vacant house found Suggs photographing two boys, ages 13 and 16. After acquiring search warrants they discovered hundreds of pornographic images of the teens on camera memory cards belonging to Suggs.

Officers acquired another warrant to search his home. There they seized electronic equipment. “We’re currently in the process of obtaining the legal documentation necessary to analyze the other items that we have seized and part of that will be the ongoing investigation to insure there aren’t any more victims,” said Belleville Police Detective Sgt. Mark Heffernan.

Some of the pornographic pictures were taken in Bellevue Park not far from where Suggs worked at a restaurant. Heffernan said Suggs met the two teenage boys at the park and took them to the vacant house on South 44th Street.

He was arraigned Wednesday on four felony counts including manufacturing pornography, child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.
Police want to hear from parents who think their children might have come into contact with Suggs either in Belleville or a nearby community.

Suggs' is being held on a $200,000 bond