(WHEATON) A west suburban man who posed as a teenager on Facebook to have sexually explicit conversations with underage girls has been sentenced to prison.
Eric Hakala, 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of indecent solicitation of a child and possession of child pornography, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office said.
Hakala, of the 1100 block of Iroquois Avenue in Naperville, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors claim he posed as 15-year-old “Mike Evans” on Facebook, using that fictional account to have sexual conversations with young girls, and to send sexually explicit photographs.
Investigators also discovered he had more than 100 images and videos depicting child pornography, prosecutors claim.
“The Internet and other forms of electronic communication have become a breeding ground for sexual predators,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “They hide behind the anonymity it provides as they troll this virtual playground looking for their next victim.”
Berlin urged parents to speak honestly with their children about the potential dangers of social media and online communications.
Hakala has been held in the DuPage County Jail since his arrest, and must serve 50 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, the state’s attorney’s office said.