By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
A Coal Valley, Ill., man sentenced on Thursday for enticing a minor expressed sorrow in court.
Judge Gary McKenrick gave Dana A. Morey, 44, of Coal Valley, a deferred judgment with two years of supervised probation and a $750 civil penalty. McKenrick said that despite the seriousness of the charge, he felt that since Morey had never been in trouble with the law before, a deferred judgment and treatment served everyone involved the best.
“I’m deeply regretful to the mistakes I made last year that led me to this,” Morey said in court, fighting back tears. “This has devastated my life.”
Morey’s attorney, Joshua Reicks, told the court that the incident has affected his client’s family life. His wife divorced him and his adopted son refuses to talk to him. Morey attributed a series of mistakes he made to trouble in his marriage at the time.
According to court documents, Morey posted an advertisement on Craig’s List on Sept. 15, 2011, that stated, “There has to be some out there that want a little or a lot of extra sex on the side. Race and age are not a factor.”
On Sept. 16, 2011, an exchange of e-mails began between Morey and a person reasonably believed to be a 14-year-old girl, according to the affidavit. Morey discussed meeting the girl in person in Clinton to engage in sexual acts. They began communicating on Yahoo Instant Messenger on Sept. 27, 2011, and discussed meeting in Clinton, according to court documents. Morey traveled from Rock Island, Ill., to the 300 block of Riverview Drive on Sept. 29, 2011, and was taken into custody by law enforcement for the class D felony of enticing away a minor.
Morey admitted in court Thursday that he had no business talking to a minor online. He added that at the time, he did not know why he was doing it and did not think about the consequences.
“I am sorry for everyone that I hurt and I promise this court that something like this will never happen again,” Morey said. Morey said he wanted to get help and work to rebuild his relationships with those he hurt.
McKenrick agreed that this incident seems to be an aberration and took his lack of criminal history and his military service into consideration. He ordered Morey to complete the sex offender treatment program and receive a mental health evaluation until he has reached the maximum of benefits of treatment as stated by the treating therapist.