BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
NAUVOO – A Nauvoo man charged with more than 50 counts of criminal sexual conduct, could be facing more charges out of another southeast Iowa county.
Daniel Scott Lafferty, 53, of Nauvoo was arrested on Tuesday, May 28 on a charge of criminal predatory sexual assault, after an investigation into a complaint against him surfaced from a juvenile who reported alleged inappropriate behavior to a school official.
Nauvoo Police Chief Mike Boley said this is one of the most heinous sex crimes he’s encountered in his law enforcement career.
Law enforcement officials, officials with the Illinois Association of Children and Family Services, and the state’s Child Advocacy Center conducted interviews that lasted more than 3.5 hours with the victim of the alleged abuses.
“These were the heaviest and toughest interviews I’ve ever been a part of in my career,” Boley said Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re prepared for the fight and it’s our goal that any sentence be referenced in decades and not years. We have very strong evidence and a strong witness.”
Boley said Lafferty was taken into custody the day the victim revealed the allegations, but information surrounding the arrest was not released about the arrest until Friday. Boley said he was putting together the rest of the evidence in the case before making any statements.
“We took him into custody that day so he wasn’t out in the public after the complaint was made, we just had some additional work to do before releasing the information,” Boley said.
That investigation almost took Boley to Nevada where additional evidence of sexual misconduct was found, but he said the officials in Nevada were extremely helpful and were able to provide information critical to the investigation.
“I just want to say those people out there were fantastic helping with this investigation,” he said.
The investigation also led Boley to file a judicial warrant with Google, to retrieve Lafferty’s Internet search history as well as emails and other downloaded materials that became part of 40 counts of child pornography, 10 of which are Class X felonies in Illinois, which are the most severe and involved downloading and disseminating pornographic materials involving children under 13.
Lafferty is also being charged with crimes in Lee County. Boley said investigators in Fort Madison were able to discover that criminal activity may have taken place within city limits.
The Lee County Attorney’s office charged Lafferty with 11 counts of criminal sexual activity including 2nd degree sexual abuse, incest, and indecent exposure.
The investigation has also led to possible charges being filed out of Des Moines County, according to Boley.
“We’ve forwarded some of the evidence to Des Moines County where we could see another set of charges filed,” he said.
After conducting the interviews on May 28, Boley secured an arrest warrant that was served on Lafferty at his residence that night. Once inside the home, Boley said they found other evidence which prompted additional warrants for search and seizure of electronic equipment and pornographic materials.
He said he hit a snag when he filed the search warrant with Google.
“We issued the warrant for everything under his Google account and I submitted that on June 4 through a portal they have for those requests,” Boley said.
It wasn’t until July 2 that the Google legal team was able to get the information Boley was looking for.
Lafferty has had one court appearance since his arrest in the Hancock County Courthouse in Carthage. He’s being held on a $400,000 bond in Illinois and a no-bond warrant out of Lee County.
In Hancock County, Lafferty faces the following charges: one count of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, a Class X Felony; ten counts of Child Pornography, each a Class X Felony; twenty-one counts of Child Pornography, each a Class 2 Felony; two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, each a Class 2 Felony; and nine counts of Child Pornography, each a Class 3 Felony.
According to Illinois law, Lafferty would face a maximum of two consecutive sentences on the Class X felonies, but he said that could amount to more than 60 years in prison. Illinois law also requires those sentenced to prison time to serve a minimum of 85% of the sentence prior to any release.
Assisting the Nauvoo Police Department in the investigation were the Hancock County State’s Attorney Rachel B. Mast; Macomb Police Department; Illinois Attorney General’s Office; Ft. Madison Police Department; Hamilton Police Department; Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; Lee County Attorney’s Office; Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Des Moines County Attorney’s Office, Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office; Reno, Nevada Police Department; Washoe County Nevada Child Advocacy Center; Children’s Advocacy Center of Hancock County; and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.