A Round Lake Heights man was arrested after he tried meeting up with a child for sex in Gages Lake, but the “child” was actually undercover detectives, the sheriff’s office said.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service concluded an investigation Tuesday.
Julio Rojas, 61, of the 1800 block of Tomahawk Trail in Round Lake Heights, began communicating online this month with undercover detectives, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said.
The detectives were posing as a girl under the age of 15.
Rojas indicated he was in the area on a “business trip” but wanted to meet with the “child” on Tuesday to engage in sexual acts, Covelli said.
The man said he wanted to inappropriately touch the supposed child, according to Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Emma Smoler.
Rojas agreed to meet with the supposed child at the Royal Oaks Apartments in Gages Lake.
Rojas made sure that the supposed child’s mother would not be present, Smoler said.
The “child” told Rojas to bring food from a specific Taco Bell location.
Sheriff’s detectives saw Rojas at the specified Taco Bell and tracked him to the arranged location, Smoler said.
The man was arrested when he arrived.
Rojas allegedly had two condoms in his pocket and admitted he would’ve likely had sex with the supposed child, Smoler said.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the charges of two counts of indecent solicitation of a child and traveling to meet a minor.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Rojas to not have contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Rojas remains held in the Lake County Jail on a $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on December 20.
“While we will always use all of our resources to investigate and arrest those who prey on our most vulnerable, it is still very important for parents to understand there are predators out there who prey on our children,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
“Please inspect your child’s electronic devices to see who they are communicating with and what they are saying,” Idleburg added.