Hainesville man pleads not guilty to sexually exploiting a child

A 34-year-old Hainesville man on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually exploiting a child, public indecency and lewd exposure.

John Eklund, of the 100 block of West Big Horn Drive, exposed himself to a child, court officials said at the virtual hearing Thursday morning. An assistant state's attorney requested that an order of protection be entered to shield the victim, a girl younger than 13, from Eklund.

Eklund was arrested by Grayslake police in May. According to court records, he put up enough cash to be let out of jail on June 8.

Grayslake police did not provide information about how or why they arrested Eklund, but according to court records, Eklund's charges stem from events on Feb. 2, 2020.

If convicted of sexually exploiting a child, a felony, Eklund could receive up to three years in prison along with a mandatory parole of four years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

The charge of public indecency is a misdemeanor and, if convicted, Eklund could receive up to one year in the county jail, a $2,500 fine or both.

Eklund is next due in court on Sept. 22.

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