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Sailor pleads guilty to molesting Lincolnshire girl
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Adam S. Matthews

 

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Published: 10/28/2009 4:19 PM

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A Great Lakes sailor pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting a girl in a Lincolnshire hotel.

Lake County Circuit Judge Victoria Rossetti sentenced Adam Matthews, 21, to 30 months on probation and six months in jail after accepting his plea to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Matthews, of Beaufort, S.C., had been corresponding over the Internet with a 14-year-old girl from Oakdale, Pa., whose brother was also in the Navy.

The girl told Matthews she was going to be in the Lake County area July 23 to see her brother graduate from basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago, and Matthews arranged to meet her at the Homewood Hilton Suites in Lincolnshire.

They got together after the girl told her parents she was going to the pool. Police were called when her parents could not find her later in the day.

The girl was located before police arrived. She admitted she had been with Matthews after other guests told police they had seen her with an older man earlier in the day.

Matthews was arrested the same day and charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Police who were inspecting Matthews' computer for evidence of his correspondence with the girl discovered lewd photographs of another young girl.

Matthews admitted they were of a 16-year-old girl in Georgia who he had also met over the Internet, and he was charged with possession of child pornography.

Stanton agreed to drop the other charges against Matthews in exchange for his guilty plea to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Rossetti also said Matthews can transfer his probation to his home state of South Carolina as soon as his discharge from the Navy is complete.