An Antioch man was arrested after he used social media to try and meet up with a 14-year-old boy for sex. The “boy” was actually a police detective.
Douglas Bedini, 43, of Antioch, was charged with indecent solicitation of a child, a Class 3 felony, and sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.
Bedini was arrested Thursday evening following an undercover child predator sting by the Antioch Police Department.
During the investigation, Bedini engaged in a sexually explicit conversation with whom he thought was a 14-year-old boy, police said.
He was actually exchanging messages with a detective from the Antioch Police Department.
Bedini was taken into custody when he arrived at a location where he believed he would be meeting the child.
Bedini appeared in bond court Saturday morning and a Lake County judge ordered him held at the Lake County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
Additional charges are possible as the incident continues to be investigated by the Antioch Police Department and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Antioch Police Chief Geoffrey Guttschow warned parents of the importance of monitoring their children’s social media use.
“Although social media can be a great tool when used appropriately, we cannot ignore the fact that some of these online sites and apps can be a breeding ground for predators who are seeking to take advantage of vulnerable youth,” said Chief Guttschow.
Parents are encouraged to follow these online safety tips to help keep their children safe:
Authorities recommend that parents educate themselves about the websites and social media apps their children use, monitor their children’s social media accounts and have conversations with them about what is appropriate to say and share.
“Make sure your child’s account privacy settings are set to restrict access to any personal information. Tell your child to never share their location with anyone other than family. Tell your child to avoid communicating with anyone they do not personally know. Ensure your child knows they can come to you with any inappropriate or concerning activity,” Antioch police said.
Guttschow says he is using this incident to send a strong message to child predators.
“When it comes to safeguarding our community’s children, the men and women of the Antioch Police Department will tirelessly pursue anyone who seeks to do them harm. If you think you can hide anonymously on the internet, you are mistaken, law enforcement will find you,” Guttschow said.
Bedini is scheduled to appear in court again on November 17.