JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that a Joliet man has been charged with discussing sex with Mokena boy in a series of email exchanges and then traveling to meet him.
Paul Frank Hicks, 41, of the 700 block of North Raynor, was formally charged Friday with Indecent Solicitation of a Minor, Traveling to Meet a Minor, Grooming, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. He faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted.
Hicks was taken into custody Thursday following an investigation by the Mokena Police Department and State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit.
The investigation began after the child’s father discovered an email exchange between his son and the defendant. The two had connected via an advertisement that was posted on craigslist.
Charges allege that the defendant discussed sex with the boy and that he traveled to his house in Mokena to meet him for that purpose in the early-morning hours of July 7. The two met inside the defendant’s car, but the youth exited the vehicle without sexual contact having occurred. The charges also allege the defendant knew through the email exchanges that the person he was going to meet was a child.
Investigators executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home and took possession of his computer and other electronic devices. The discovery of a substance containing hydrocodone during the search led to the Possession of a Controlled Substance charge.
Bond was set at $200,000 on Friday. The defendant must post 10 percent or $20,000 to secure his release while he is awaiting trial.
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.