Man caught in Wheaton child sex sting gets jail time
A man who said he was high on a synthetic drug when he tried to arrange sex with a 14-year-old girl was jailed Friday by a DuPage County judge.
Nicholas Marcogliese, 33, of downstate Kincaid, pleaded guilty to indecent solicitation of a child. Judge George Bakalis sentenced him to 30 months of probation and six months in jail. Marcogliese also must register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Authorities charged him in July 2011 after he solicited sex from an undercover officer posing online as a 14-year-old Wheaton girl, Assistant State's Attorney Kirsten King said in court.
At some point, King said, Marcogliese came to suspect police were involved, prompting him to smash and burn his computer hard drive shortly before his arrest.
Defense attorney Sal Miglore said Marcogliese was under the influence of alcohol and the synthetic drug known as bath salts when he pursued the encounter.
A psychological evaluation concluded his client was not likely to repeat the offense, Miglore said.
"He's not a pedophile. He has problems with impulse control, and all this happened while he was under the influence," Miglore said. "He's accepted responsibility."
Bath salts replicate the effects of cocaine, amphetamines and other stimulants, authorities say. They're among several synthetic drugs lawmakers have struggled to outlaw in recent years as makers frequently alter their chemical design.
As part of his probation, Marcogliese is required to attend a substance-abuse support group and undergo random drug testing. Bakalis barred him from using the Internet but agreed he could raise his young child, whose mother died of cancer Thursday, according to Miglore.
Marcogliese was previously convicted of battery for groping a young woman in downstate Taylorville in 2003, prosecutors said.
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