Texas man sentenced to 10 years for child pornography and soliciting Downers Grove girl

WHEATON - A Texas man was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for possessing child pornography and having sexually explicit conversations with a 13-year-old Downers Grove girl he originally met over the Internet.

Rudolph Figueroa, 46, of Corpus Christi, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, a Class 1 felony, and one count of solicitation to meet a child, a Class 4 felony, in front of Judge Robert Kleeman, who handed down Thursday's sentence.

From March 2012 through June 2012, Figueroa exchanged text messages and spoke to his victim on several occasions, claiming to be a 17-year-old boy from Florida, according to DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin's office.

On several occasions, Figueroa carried on sexually explicit conversations and texts with the girl knowing she was 13 years old. Figueroa originally contacted his victim over the Internet after responding to YouTube videos she had posted, according to the state's attorney's office.

On at least one occasion, Figueroa asked to meet the girl in person without her parent’s consent. Through the course of their investigation involving the 13 year-old girl, authorities discovered images of child pornography in Figueroa’s possession.

"In today’s world of instant and potentially anonymous communication, it is extremely important that parents teach their children how to be careful and alert to suspicious behavior when communicating over the internet through texts, emails and even telephone calls with people they have not met in person,” Berlin said in a newsrelease.  “Child sexual predators hide behind the anonymity that the Internet provides as they troll for their young victims."

Figueroa will be required to register as a lifetime sex offender.