A Crystal Lake man was arrested and charged for allegedly trying to meet with a child for sex. The “child” was actually an undercover sting group, which is led by citizens.
Evan R. Colie, 24, of the 400 block of Lake Street in Crystal Lake, was charged with grooming, a Class 4 felony, and solicitation to meet a child, a Class 4 felony.
Court records show that officers with the Crystal Lake Police Department arrested Colie on November 6.
Colie is accused of using an online platform to entice who he thought was a child to meet up for sex, court documents show.
He is also accused of trying to obtain sexually explicit images from a child.
An organization called Worldwide Predator Hunters published screenshots on social media of part of their conversation with Colie, which led to the charges.
The organization is a group of citizens, who are not affiliated with law enforcement, that try to take pedophiles off the streets, according to Rockford-based Eyewitness News.
“We’re out here to keep these kids safe,” Jay Pretty, the man who founded the group, told Eyewitness News in a 2020 interview.
Pretty says his team has helped expose dozens of criminals through the use of online decoys.
The group sets up social media accounts posing as minors and waits for someone with bad intentions to start an inappropriate conversation, Eyewitness News reported.
Once that happens, the group sets up a sting operation and contacts law enforcement in the process.
Court records show Colie was released from the McHenry County Jail after posting 10% of his $10,000 bond.
A court hearing is scheduled for December 20.