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Press Release

Fairview Heights Man Charged with Child Pornography Possession

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

Michael M. Rapa, 67, of Fairview Heights, Illinois, was arraigned yesterday in federal court on a
three-count indictment charging him with possessing prepubescent child pornography (two counts) and
possessing child pornography. According to the indictment, on Nov. 2 and Nov. 30, 2017, Rapa
knowingly possessed computers that contained prepubescent child pornography. The indictment further
alleges that, on Dec. 12, 2017, Rapa knowingly possessed a hard drive that contained child
pornography. Rapa has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

An indictment is merely a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed
to be innocent of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

If convicted of possessing prepubescent child pornography, Rapa faces a penalty of not more than 20
years imprisonment. For possession of child pornography, Rapa could receive as much as 10 years in
prison. All three counts carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and supervised release from five years to
life. Trial is presently scheduled for Dec. 17, 2020, in Benton, Illinois.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May
2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and
abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation
and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to
locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and
rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit
For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on
the tab “resources.”

The case was investigated by the Fairview Heights Police Department and the Department of Homeland
Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney Angela Scott.

Updated October 13, 2020

Project Safe Childhood