POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LEADS TO 6 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS MAN
BENTON, Ill. - A Fairview Heights man is heading to federal prison for possession of
child pornography. Michael M. Rapa, 68, of Fairview Heights, Illinois, was sentenced on Thursday,
June 2, 2022, to 6 years in prison for two counts of possession of prepubescent child pornography
and one count of possession of child pornography. Rapa pleaded guilty to the charges in February.
Following his prison sentence, Rapa will be on federal supervised release for 5 years and will be
required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
According to court documents, Rapa first came to the attention of law enforcement in Vancouver,
Canada, in 2015. As the result of a subsequent investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security and the Fairview Heights Police Department, in 2017 Rapa was determined to be in
possession of hundreds of image and video files containing prepubescent child pornography on
various items of electronic media which lead to charges in the Southern District of Illinois.
“There is something profoundly wrong with an individual who derives sexual gratification
from seeing children being raped,” said U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft. “Law
enforcement must confront this evil because, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, a true measure of
society can be found in how it protects its most vulnerable members.”
“One of the most horrific things an individual can do is seek to harm a child,” said acting Special
Agent in Charge of the Kansas City area of operations R. Sean Fitzgerald. “I couldn’t be prouder of
the HSI special agents and analysts, in coordination with our law enforcement partners, who have
dedicated their lives to removing these predators from our community.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education,
please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karelia Rajagopal and Ali Summers.