MySpace predator sent to prison
JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that his Computer Crimes Unit sent a Morris man who was arrested in a Myspace-related Internet sex sting to prison today.
Jay D. Coffield, 44, pled guilty in exchange for a 26 month prison sentence today in front of Judge Daniel Rozak. Coffield was charged in June with indecent solicitation of a child after he arrived at a local business expecting to meet a 15 year old girl and instead met the Naperville Police Department, assisted by the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Indecent solicitation of a child is a Class 3 felony in Illinois which carries the possibility of probation or a sentence of 2 to 5 years in prison.
Naperville Detective Rich Wistocki, who spearheaded the Coffield investigation along with the State’s Attorney’s Computer Crimes Unit and Attorney General’s Task Force, has dealt extensively with Myspace-related cases and received an award from Myspace at the national 2006 Internet Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Wistocki was contacted by a 21 year old woman who had seen inappropriate comments directed to her 14 year old cousin on the girl’s Myspace page. Taking a page from the online watchdog group “Perverted Justice”, this amateur sleuth set up her own undercover account online and began talking to Coffield online. After meeting with Wistocki, the woman turned over her undercover account and previous chats with Coffield to the detective, who continued to converse with Coffield until Coffield suggested that the 15 year old “virtual” child meet him for a sexual encounter at a local business.
When Coffield arrived at the location, instead of a vulnerable 15 year old he met Wistocki and other officers, who briskly whisked him off to jail. Both in his online chats with Wistocki and in his confession, Coffield indicated that this was his first attempt to physically meet a child. He has no prior criminal history.
“Thanks to Detective Wistocki and prosecutor John Connor of my Computer Crimes Unit, our proactice investigative techniques worked to perfection,” said Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow. “We caught an Internet predator before he could claim his first victim, and so helped to ensure that Jay Coffield will not actually harm a child. No longer an anonymous Internet surfer looking for vulnerable children, Jay Coffield now will have a public prison sentence and his face online among other Illinois registered sex offenders. Instead of just picking up the pieces after a child has been violated, we were able to expose and punish a predator before a child’s life was tragically affected.”
Suspected online child exploitation may be reported to your local police department or to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.