Former Rolling Meadows police officer subject of federal child porn investigation

The investigation does not appear to have led to any criminal charges so far. But an August 2019 affidavit from an FBI task force officer seeking a search warrant was unsealed last week in Chicago’s federal court.

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Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Sun-Times File

Federal authorities have been investigating a onetime Rolling Meadows police officer for allegedly using a dating website to either collect child pornography from minors or to persuade underage girls to have sex with him, court records show.

The investigation does not appear to have led to any criminal charges so far. But an August 2019 affidavit from an FBI task force officer seeking a search warrant was unsealed last week in Chicago’s federal court.

That affidavit contained transcripts of apparent online conversations in which someone appeared to offer money to minors while trying to convince them to have sexual relations, even though they told the person they were underage.

The document also cited four child exploitation complaints from 2016 and 2017 against a profile on the website seekingarrangement.com, which the feds have connected to the former officer. The affidavit said the complaints led to the account being closed in 2017.

The Chicago Sun-Times is not naming the officer because court records show he has not been charged with a crime. He resigned from the Rolling Meadows Police Department because of the allegations, according to the affidavit. He could not be reached for comment.

The Sun-Times also unsuccessfully sought comment from seekingarrangement.com, which describes itself as a site “where beautiful, successful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships.” It is described in the affidavit as “an online dating site that markets itself as a matchmaking website for wealthy men to find attractive young women.”

The investigation began with a report from the officer’s wife to the Rolling Meadows Police Department in November 2018, according to the affidavit. It said she searched his laptop after becoming suspicious of him and discovered an email account in which the user had been messaging with young girls about having sex. She said she changed the password on the account so she could access it on her cellphone and take screen shots, the affidavit said.

The Rolling Meadows Police Department then gave the screen shots to the FBI, it said. The FBI task force officer quoted a March 2016 conversation found among them in the affidavit. It allegedly involved a user who needed money to go on a trip and eventually admitted she was 14, it said.

The email user allegedly offered her $300 for sex and $100 for oral sex and told her “I wouldn’t talk to other guys … There are a lot of creepy and bad old people on the site. You have to be careful.”

The email user also allegedly sent a “picture of numerous $100 bills fanned out” to the 14-year-old, according to the affidavit.

In separate conversations in August and September 2016, the email user also allegedly offered a $200 “allowance” to another user during a conversation about sex in which the other person said “I’m almost 17.”

The FBI managed to track down acquaintances of that person, who shared corroborating information and led them to a police report in which a girl told police she had been meeting adult men on seekingarrangement.com. She later denied it and stopped cooperating with law enforcement, according to the affidavit.

The task force officer also said he checked an FBI database and discovered that a separate email account connected to the officer had been associated with a sexual exploitation complaint in September 2016. In that case, a 16-year-old girl told her mother that a friend told her she could “make a lot of money sending nude pictures of herself” on seekingarrangement.com.

The SeekingArrangement website says it “is committed to the fight against sex and human trafficking and will block and report to law enforcement any individuals they deem are in violation of anti-trafficking laws.”

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