Student arrested in Internet sex sting

  • Grant W. Boyer

    Grant W. Boyer

Published: 6/2/2008 11:27 AM | Updated: 6/2/2008 8:16 PM

A 21-year-old college student from Tower Lakes has been accused of trying to arrange over the Internet a sexual encounter with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl, police said Monday.

Grant W. Boyer faces one count of solicitation, a Class 2 felony, stemming from an investigation by Wonder Lake police and the national organization Perverted Justice.

Boyer declined comment Monday.

Police arrested Boyer outside a Wonder Lake home late Friday night after he showed up for what authorities say he believed was a meeting with an underage girl with whom he had been communicating via online chat rooms for about three days.

The girl was in reality an operative for Perverted Justice, though investigators did send Boyer a photo of an underage girl and made it clear through their conversations she was 13, Wonder Lake Police Chief David Mahlke said. A girl also was present at the house when Boyer arrived, police said.

"He knew she was 13," Mahlke said. "We have very detailed chat logs of a very sexual nature."

Perverted Justice is a Portland, Ore.-based organization that targets adults who use the Internet to arrange meetings for sex with children. Its sometimes controversial methods and operations have been featured regularly on the newsmagazine Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator" program.

Mahlke believes his agency is the first in McHenry County to work with Perverted Justice.

"The show inspired me," Mahlke said. "We need to be aggressive in catching these online predators."

Boyer, who posted $2,000 bond after spending Friday night in the McHenry County jail, is scheduled to appear in court on the charge June 19. If found guilty, he could face three to seven years in prison, though probation is possible.