Marengo youth minister charged with soliciting a child
A youth minister of a Marengo church is facing child exploitation charges after he solicited an undercover police officer, who was posing as an underage girl online, for sex acts, prosecutors said.
Barry Caudle, a 39-year-old youth minister at the Marengo First Assembly of God, 22817 W. Grant Highway, was arrested Tuesday morning and is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Prosecutors said Caudle solicited a Rock Island police officer who was posing undercover online as a 14-year-old girl.
The case was handed over to the Illinois attorney general's office, who executed a search warrant at the church Tuesday morning resulting in Caudle's arrest.
Caudle was charged with three counts of indecent solicitation of a child, one count of grooming a minor and one count of unlawful luring of a minor, according to prosecutors.
"Child predators hide behind anonymous user names in chat rooms and instant messages to make their first contact with potential victims," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement. "We need to shut these crimes down at the source, finding where sex offenders lurk online before they strike."
If convicted on all charges, Caudle would face a maximum of 21 years in prison.
Anyone with information that may lead to future investigations involving Caudle is asked to call the McHenry County sheriff's office at (815) 338-2144.