A Wonder Lake man who tried meeting up with a 14-year-old girl for sex was arrested Monday near Gurnee after the “girl” was actually an undercover detective.
Aaron C. Cornelius, 36, of the 4200 block of East Wonder Lake Drive in Wonder Lake, used a social networking app to communicate with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said that the girl was actually an undercover detective.
Cornelius asked to meet the girl to engage in various sexual acts, Covelli said.
The man drove to a location in Warren Township near Gurnee on Monday evening to meet with the girl and engage in those acts.
Cornelius was instead met by Lake County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Group (SIG) detectives.
Cornelius was arrested and transported to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charges of indecent solicitation of a child and traveling to meet a minor.
Cornelius remains held in the Lake County Jail on a $750,000 bond, meaning he would need to post $75,000 cash to be released. He is scheduled to appear in court on August 13.
“Children are some of our most vulnerable and we work tirelessly to proactively protect them. In the era of technology, I strongly recommend all parents and guardians monitor your children’s electronic use and have serious conversations about the risks of online predators, as online predators are prevalent, and they lurk in the shadows of cyberspace,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is a SIG member agency, participated in the investigation.