A young Naperville man whose father is serving a 21-year prison term for sexually assaulting a pre-teenage girl has been found guilty of trying to engage in sex with a 12-year-old girl.
Eric M. Pence II was convicted and sentenced to jail by DuPage County Circuit Court Judge George J. Bakalis, the same judge who sentenced his father to prison seven years ago.
Pence, 20, lived in Wheaton before moving last year to an apartment on the 1700 block of Brookdale Road on Naperville’s northwest side. He had been facing trial on eight felony charges that included possession of child pornography, child luring, traveling to meet a minor and grooming.
Prosecutors agreed to drop six of the counts in exchange for Pence’s admission to the charges of grooming and traveling to meet a minor, said Paul Darrah, spokesman for DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin. Pence pleaded guilty in the case on July 31, according to court records.
Bakalis on Tuesday accepted Pence’s plea and sentenced him to 180 days in DuPage County Jail, Darrah said. Pence was jailed following his arrest, and has already finished serving that term.
Darrah said Bakalis also placed Pence on 30 months of sex offender probation, during which he is allowed no access to the Internet. Pence also must register with Illinois State Police as a convicted sex offender and pay a total of $1,049 in fines and court costs, Darrah said.
Wheaton police last year launched an investigation of Pence following a complaint by the parents of a 12-year-old girl. Police offered no details about the matter.
A grand jury indictment alleged that Pence between July 30, 2011 and July 30, 2012 obtained pornographic images of two girls, who were identified only by their initials. Those images depicted the girls naked or partially clothed and in provocative poses, the indictment declared.
Pence “knowingly used (the Internet) to seduce, solicit, lure or entice” one of the girls, in order to “engage in unlawful sexual conduct” with her, the indictment read in part. He also allegedly traveled in June 2012 to meet the girl for a sexual tryst at an undisclosed location.
DuPage County authorities in 2005 charged Pence’s father, Eric M. Pence, with two felony counts of criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13 and 17, and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. That followed an investigation by police in Bartlett, where the elder Pence last lived.
The victim in that case was the daughter of one of the senior Pence’s friends. She testified he repeatedly molested her between 2003 and 2005, beginning when she was 12.
Pence, now 44, was sentenced by Bakalis in September 2006 to prison. Illinois Department of Corrections records indicated he will not be eligible for parole until September 2025.