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Man charged with emailing boy about sex, traveling to meet him

Paul Frank Hicks | Will County state's attorney's office

A Joliet man has been charged with discussing sex with a southwest suburban boy online and then traveling to meet him.

Paul Frank Hicks, 41, was charged Friday with indecent solicitation of a minor, traveling to meet a minor, grooming and possession of a controlled substance, according to a statement from the Will County state’s attorney’s office.

The investigation started when the boy’s father discovered an email exchange between the boy and Hicks, prosecutors said. They had connected through an advertisement posted on Craigslist. Hicks discussed sex with the boy in the emails and knew that he was communicating with a minor.

He traveled to the boy’s Mokena home to meet him in the early morning of July 7, the state’s attorney’s office said. They met in Hicks’ car, but the boy exited the vehicle before any sexual contact occurred.

When investigators executed a search warrant on Hicks’ home in the 700 block of North Raynor in Mokena, they took possession of his computer and other electronic devices, prosecutors said. They also found “a substance containing hydrocodone.”

Hicks was ordered held on a $200,000 bond Friday, prosecutors said. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.