A former north suburban police officer, who resigned last summer amid allegations of patronizing prostitutes while on duty, now faces criminal charges that could land him in prison for 5 years.
A Lake County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Ludwin W. Barreno, former North Chicago police officer, on four counts of official misconduct and three counts of patronizing a prostitute, all felonies; and two misdemeanor counts of solicitation of a sexual act, according to the Lake County states attorney’s office.
He surrendered Friday to the Lake County sheriff’s office and was ordered held on a $250,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office. He remained in custody as of Monday afternoon.
Barreno, an 8-year veteran of the North Chicago department who resigned June 28, is charged in the nine-count indictment with “soliciting and engaging in sexual acts for money while on duty,” a statement from prosecutors said.
“It is truly a disappointment when an officer of the law is charged criminally for breaking the very laws he was sworn to uphold,” North Chicago Police Chief Robert Wilson said in a statement.
“Upon learning of potential misconduct by the officer in question, the North Chicago Police Department opened an internal investigation to determine whether the officer violated any policies or general orders,” Wilson said. “The officer resigned in late June, before the internal investigation was completed.”
The meetings with prostitutes occurred in April and June of 2017 with two different individuals around 14th and Dugdale in North Chicago, prosecutors said.
If convicted of all charges, Barreno faces up to 5 years in prison, Vargas said. He is next scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Waukegan.
“The North Chicago Police Department has no tolerance for officers who engage in any form of misconduct,” Wilson said. “That’s why it assisted Lake County prosecutors at every turn during the course of its investigation.”