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posted: 7/19/2012 5:08 PM

Trucker charged with soliciting child in DuPage

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  • Jeffrey G. Bennett

      Jeffrey G. Bennett

 

A 51-year-old man was charged after he traveled to DuPage County believing he was about to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex, prosecutors said Thursday.

Instead, Jeffrey Bennett was met by undercover Carol Stream police detectives who had posed online as his would-be victim, Assistant State's Attorney Joe Baumann said in bond court.

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Bennett, of the 6100 block of South Edgewood Lane in LaGrange Highlands, was ordered held on $250,000 bail. He faces charges of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, traveling to meet a minor and indecent solicitation of a child.

According to prosecutors, the undercover detectives were posing as a 14-year-old Hanover Park girl when Bennett initiated contact with them in a Yahoo chat room. Over several days, authorities said, Bennett engaged in online discussions about sex, sent nude videos of himself, and eventually arranged a face-to-face encounter. "He wanted to meet her to have sex and to take her to Wal-Mart to buy her a phone so she could call and text him without her mother knowing," Baumann told Judge Elizabeth Sexton.

Police took Bennett into custody when he arrived for the meeting Wednesday morning behind a Carol Stream grocery store, authorities said.

Baumann said Bennett initially told officers he planned to tell the teen they should not have sex but later confessed his actual intentions. Police also found condoms and related products in his vehicle, Baumann said.

Bennett, a professional truck driver, remained jailed Thursday afternoon and would have to post $25,000 to bond out. Sexton barred him from using computers and interacting with minors if he is released.

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