and Cook County sheriff's deputies arrested a Frankfort Township man Thursday, accusing him of trying to arrange an illicit meeting at a New Lenox motel with an undercover officer posing as a father willing to prostitute out his 6-year-old daughter.
Brandon J. Bergthold, 25, of the 7700 block of North Ave., was charged with two felony counts of indecent solicitation of a child and two felony counts of traveling to meet a minor. Additional charges might be forthcoming once there is a review of more evidence, said Will County Sheriff's spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer, adding that the investigation is still open.
Bergthold is being held in the Will County Jail on $750,000. If he is released on bail, he is to have no contact with minors. His next court date is Feb. 17.
The sting was part of two-month investigation started by the Cook County Sheriff's Child Exploitation Unit, according to a joint press release. The unit targeted Bergthold after an investigator noticed he was trying to set up meetings with fathers who would allow him to have sex with their daughters, the report said. For the next two months, an investigator posed as a father with a 6-year-old daughter and was willing to let Bergthold have sex with her, according to the report.
This past weekend, Bergthold pushed for a face-to-face meeting with the dad and daughter, the report said. That's when the investigator set up a meeting at a motel in New Lenox, where Bergthold was arrested without incident, the report stated.
“Bergthold’s demeanor changed, he communicated a sense of urgency in wanting to meet with the undercover officer and the minor child," Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas said in a statement. "We became worried that he may seek out an unsuspecting victim if we did not end this investigation.”
Investigators also searched Bergthold’s house and confiscated a computer and other electronic media, the report said.
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