Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
mmerz@atg.state.il.us

March 20 , 2006

MADIGAN'S OFFICE, WHEATON POLICE, NAPERVILLE POLICE AND MICHIGAN INTERNET CRIMES TASK FORCE ARREST ALLEGED CHILD PREDATOR

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, Wheaton Police Department, Naperville Police Department and Michigan ICAC task force this weekend joined forces to apprehend a Michigan man who had traveled to Illinois to have sex with a minor.

The Wheaton Police Department, with assistance from the Illinois and Michigan ICAC task forces and the Naperville Police Department, on Saturday, March 18, arrested Steven Michael Waclawski, 52, of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, when he attempted to meet with a child with the intent of having sex with that child.

Waclawski flew from Detroit to Chicago and then drove to Wheaton for the arranged meeting with the child. Waclawski met the child online in a chat room.

“Since developing the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, specialists from my office have successfully partnered with law enforcement agencies in Illinois, the United States and around the globe to arrest and prosecute hundreds of child predators,” Madigan said. “This weekend we were able to track and apprehend a child predator who was using the Internet to find his next victim. Thankfully, he was prevented from victimizing an innocent youth.”

“Our children can be at risk when they log on the Internet. The Wheaton Police Department will continue to initiate operations like this one to protect them from child predators,” said Wheaton Police Department Commander J. Eversole.

Waclawski was charged with one count of Indecent Solicitation of a Child, a class 3 felony, punishable by a maximum of five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC).

Following the arrest, the Michigan ICAC task force assisted by executing search warrants at Waclawski’s residence and office, and computers were seized. A forensic search of the computers will be conducted.

Waclawski was scheduled to appear in bond court this afternoon. The Office of DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett is prosecuting the case.

“Millions of people legally use the Internet every day for shopping, entertainment, information and even paying bills,” remarked Birkett. “There are some however, that use the Internet as a tool, searching for their next victim under anonymity from possibly hundreds of miles away. This case is a perfect example of law enforcement agencies working together to keep our children safe from sexual predators that may be lurking on the Internet.”

In the 18 months since its creation, the Illinois ICAC task force has investigated more than 300 child exploitation cases and arrested more than 100 individuals on related charges. The task force also has conducted more than 20 educational trainings and created a Web site at www.illinoisicac.org to provide the public with a central source for information on child exploitation.

To report online child exploitation, please send an e-mail to illinoisicactip@atg.state.il.us or call the CyberTipline at 1- 800-843-5678.

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