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Joliet man charged with indecent solicitation after Western Springs online probe

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:04 p.m. CDT

WESTERN SPRINGS – A Joliet man was charged with indecent solicitation of a child after exchanging photos and engaging in chats that were sexual in nature with a Western Springs Police investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl.

Kevin J. Ethridge, 47, of the 1000 block of Magnolia Avenue in Joliet, was arrested April 25 at his Joliet home after an investigation that began in September 2012. Western Springs Police, aided by the Major Case Assistance Team, made the arrest.

It was the first internet crime arrest in more than a year for Western Springs Police, Deputy Police Chief Brian Budds said. Ethridge engaged in chats and internet communication with the undercover investigator that were sexually explicit in nature and included the exchange of photographs, Budds said. Ethridge offered to meet up with who he thought was a 15-year-old girl but never did.

At this point, there is no evidence to suggest Ethridge had similar contact with other minors, Budds said.

Ethridge was also charged with distribution of harmful materials to a minor. Both crimes are Class 4 felonies. His bond was set at $100,000 during a hearing April 26 at the Cook County 5th District Circuit Court.

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