UPDATED: 6:52 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
Tinley Park Police set up a sting Thursday at village fast-food place to arrest a Palos Park man who was trying to arrange sex with someone he thought was a 16-year-old girl he had contacted online, according to police reports.
Matthew G. Whitlock, 44, of the 12400 block of South 80th Avenue in Palos Park, was charged with indecent solicitation of a child over the internet.
Investigators posing as a 16-year-old girl at Lincoln-Way North High School had been communicating with Whitlock since Monday, Oct. 8, after he responded to a phony Craigslist ad placed by police, according to the police report.
Here's what the ad, which was headlined, "Later in the week? Wild child looking" and appeared on the site's Casual Encounters section, stated:
Hello, it looks like I will be free later in the week on Thursday. I am young but don’t feel young. I need an adventure. I am 5’08 and athletic. Want to know more????
Whitlock and investigators emailed back and forth, even exchanging photos (police used a picture of a female officer at age 16), the report stated. In those emails, Whitlock listed a variety of sexual acts he wanted to perform with the "teen," the report continued.
Finally, Whitlock asked to meet "the girl" Thursday, Oct. 11, at Arbys, 7220 W. 191st St., telling her that they would go to a forest preserve to have sex, the report stated. Whitlock arrived at the restaurant at about 1:10 p.m., but he was greeted by six members of the Tinley Park Police Department instead, according to the report.
Police took Whitlock into custody without incident at the restaurant and brought him back to the police station, the report said. At the station, Whitlock waived his Miranda rights and gave a written statement where he admitted he went to the restaurant in order to meet a 16-year-old high school student so he could have sex with her, the report continued.
Whitlock was booked in to Will County Jail, and he is still being held there on $30,000 bond, according to Will County Sheriff's Department records. His next court date is Nov. 2.
READ: Frankfort Twp. Man Tried to Buy Sex With Child
This is the second case in less than a year that local law enforcement has used a phony online ad to nab an area man trying to have sex with minors.
. The sting was part of two-month investigation started by the Cook County Sheriff's Child Exploitation Unit. It targeted Brandon Bergthold, 25, after an investigator noticed Bergthold was trying to set up meetings with fathers who would allow him to have sex with their daughters.
Bergthold was sentenced to 10 years in prison after accepting a plea deal in June. With good behavior and time served, Bergthold could be released in less than five years.
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