Bond was set at $1 million Thursday for a 37-year-old Naperville man who posed as a teenage boy on a fictitious Facebook page to engage in sexual conversations and trade inapprpriate photos with teenage girls.
Eric Thor Hakala of the 1100 block of Iroquois Avenue in Naperville created the fake account under the alias “Mike Evans,” claiming to be a 15-year-old from St. Charles East High School, according to a statement from Naperville police.
Hakala was charged with two counts each of indecent solicitation and grooming; 10 counts of possession of child pornography; and one count of possessing harmful material, police said. All the charges are felonies.
Judge Anthony Coco set bond at $1 million on Thursday, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office.
As Mike Evans, Hakala carried on conversations with underage children, including “numerous sexual conversations,” police said. He was also “trading inappropriate pictures with several minor children over Facebook” under the guise of Evans, according to police.
On Wednesday, Naperville police, Oswego police, Batavia police and the U.S. Marshal Service wrapped up a seven-month investigation by arresting Hakala, a previously convicted child sex offender, at his home, according to police.
He possessed more than 100 images and videos of child pornography, according to prosecutors.
Batavia police have identified several local teenage victims, but parents in the Oswego, Batavia and St. Charles areas are asked to discuss the situation with their children.
“Unfortunately, the Internet has also become a virtual electronic playground where sexual predators can hide behind the anonymity it provides,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.
“I encourage parents to talk to their children about Internet safety and to instruct their children to be cautious when dealing with people on social networking sites.”
Parents should look for Mike Evans in their teens’ Facebook friends list and on the cell phone application KIK.
Anyone who finds their children have had contact with the Evans account should not report the issue to Facebook, but save all conversations and photos exchanged with the account and contact Naperville or Batavia police.
Hakala is scheduled to appear for arraignment Nov. 18 in Wheaton.