Authorities: Man faces grooming charges after interacting with undercover detectives online

  • James R. Wood

    James R. Wood

 
 
Updated 7/1/2022 5:43 PM

A Darien man has been charged with grooming a minor via social media after a Lake County undercover investigation.

James R. Wood, 35, of the 7500 block of Farmingdale Drive, faces three counts of grooming.

 

Undercover detectives posed as a girl under age 15 and communicated in June with Wood, according to authorities, who said the conversations began after Wood engaged with the "girl" on social media.

After learning her age, Wood asked for nude photos of the girl and exposed himself to her on the social media app, authorities said. He had "graphic" conversations with the girl and told her he was going to come to Lake County to engage in a sexual relationship with her, authorities said.

Wood could not find the time to do so, however, due to starting a new job, authorities said.

Wood had worked recently as a camp counselor and a substitute teacher in the Darien area.

He was arrested at his job in Naperville Thursday, authorities said.

The sheriff's department asks anyone with information about Wood to call their local police department.

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Wood is being held on $100,000 bail, meaning he would need to post $10,000 to be released.

His next court date is July 26.

"We cannot stress this enough -- please do not let your children communicate on social media applications with anyone, unless you as their parent or guardian have personally verified it is someone they know," Sheriff John Idleburg said in the release. "Predators use everyday social media applications to prey on children of all ages from all communities."

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