A 25-year-old man from Frankfort Square, Illinois has been charged with one count of traveling to meet a minor and two counts of indecent solicitation of a child. The charges are the result of a two-month-long investigation, as reported by Will and Cook County sheriff’s police today.
Bond was set for Brandon J. Bergthold at $750,000. He is scheduled to appear in Will County court on Feb. 17 for the case.
According to a joint release from the Cook and Will County sheriff’s police, the investigation started on Nov. 30 with a member of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Child Exploitation Unit monitoring a sexually-oriented Web site. The operative noticed someone using the site to arrange meetings with fathers willing to share their daughters.
Cook County detectives were able to identify the individual as Bergthold. Officials said the investigator posed as a father willing to allow sexual access to his 6-year-old daughter when they made contact with Bergthold.
Bergthold allegedly began pushing for a meeting with the “father” and fictitious daughter over the weekend, so the investigation became more aggressive.
Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas said, “Bergthold’s demeanor changed…He communicated a sense of urgency in wanting to meet with the undercover officer and the minor child.”
According to Kaupas, investigators agreed that it was possible Bergthold might look for an unsuspecting victim “if we did not end this investigation.”
The agent posed as a father and arranged to meet with Bergthold Thursday at the Will County motel. He and other investigators took Bergthold into custody there without incident. A search warrant was executed by detectives at Bergthold’s residence and they reportedly recovered a computer and other electronic media from there.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart thanked the vice unit officers from both the Will and Cook County sheriff’s office, as well as the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. He credited interdepartmental cooperation for the arrest and subsequent approval of charges.
Detectives from both counties were also praised by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who said investigators from both law-enforcement departments “worked hand-in-hand” with Will County prosecutors.
As a condition of his bond, Bergthold is to have no contact with children under the age of 18.