CLINTON — A Dolton, Ill., man who traveled to Clinton in March with the hopes of having sexual contact with a girl he thought was younger than 16 will serve as much as five years in prison.
On May 23, Francisco A. Gonzales, 39, pleaded guilty to enticing a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor. Both charges are Class D felonies, which can carry as much as five years in prison each. Despite the defendant’s lack of prior criminal charges, Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow asked Clinton County District Judge Mark Lawson on Thursday morning to order incarceration for Gonzales.
“If a real live minor had been talking to him, he had every intent to meet this 14-year-old girl and have sex with her,” Barlow said.
Barlow added it was lucky that the defendant was actually speaking to a Clinton County sheriff’s deputy pretending to be a 14-, and later, 15-year-old girl.
Gonzales was arrested March 11 after driving into Clinton and to the 2600 block of North Fourth Street with the plan of meeting the girl at a pre-arranged location. According to court documents, the defendant communicated with a person he believed to be a 14-year-girl on Teen Video Chat, Yahoo Instant Messenger, Facebook and a cellphone between February 2013 and March 2014. The affidavit continues that these communications included conversations where Gonzales discussed meeting her in Clinton, away from her home, for the purpose of engaging in sex acts.
Barlow told the court that the sexual exploitation charge related to some pornography the defendant sent as part of these communications.
Barlow said a deferred judgement would be inappropriate and asked that the defendant receive incarceration for each charge, as well as a 10-year special sentence following the completion of that prison time. He hoped this sentence would serve as appropriate punishment for the defendant, as well as general deterrence for others tempted to engage in similar activities.