A Belleville man is accused of using a cell phone “meet-up” app to try to convince a teenage girl to meet him for sex.
Bradley J. Pence, 22, of 414 Winchester Drive, was charged by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office with one count of grooming, a class 4 felony, according to court records.
“Belleville detectives received a Cybertip through the Illinois Attorney General’s office regarding a possible endangered juvenile,” said Belleville Police Sgt. Mark Heffernan. “The cybertip indicated that a user of a cell phone ‘meet-up’ app was attempting to solicit a woman to allow him to have sex with her teenage daughter.”
Police got a search warrant and were able to trace the online communications back to Pence through his internet protocol address, Heffernan said.
Heffernan said while the evidence in the case was enough to support charges, there is nothing to indicate that Pence had physical contact with the teenage girl or that there are any other potential victims.
Pence was taken to the St. Clair County Jail where he was held on $30,000 bail.
Heffernan said police got the tip about the potential endangerment of a juvenile female April 22 through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office’s Cybertip program.