JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow and Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley announce that an Elwood man was charged with Indecent Solicitation of a Child on Saturday following an investigation by the State’s Attorney’s High Technology Crimes Unit.
Paul A. Wielgus, 34, of the 19000 block of Hoff Road, was arrested on Friday and booked into the Will County Jail after a search warrant was executed at his home. Investigators seized computers and other electronic equipment during the execution of the warrant.
The Indecent Solicitation of a Child charge is a Class 3 Felony that alleges he solicited a child to perform a sexual act while the two were communicating via the Internet.
Wielgus also was charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, a Class 4 Felony that alleges he exposed himself to someone he believed to be a child, and Unlawful Grooming, a Class 4 Felony that alleges he used a computer online service to solicit a child to engage in an act of sexual conduct. He faces between two and five years in prison if he is convicted on the most serious charge.
Bond has been set at $500,000. Wielgus must post 10 percent or $50,000 to secure his release while awaiting trial.
State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit cooperated with investigators from the Will County Sheriff’s Department as well as from Gilpin County, Colorado on this case. Wielgus is alleged to have conducted online and text conversations of a sexual nature with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. The girl, however, was actually an investigator from Gilpin County, who contacted the High Technology Crimes Unit.
The State’s Attorney formed the specialized High Technology Crimes Unit in 2012 to identify individuals who use the Internet to download or distribute child pornography. In the past two years, the unit has arrested roughly 80 individuals who were in possession of child pornography or who were actually abusing children.
In the past two weeks, three arrests have been made in suspected child exploitation cases based on joint investigations involving the State’s Attorney’s Office working in conjunction with Will County Sheriff’s Department investigators.
The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.