University of Illinois student from Quincy charged with grooming, sexual exploitation of a child
QUINCY — A pre-med student at the University of Illinois was arrested early Tuesday morning in Champaign for sending inappropriate text messages and pictures to a 13-year-old girl in Adams County.
Giorgio Raad, 18, 619 Birdie Lane, was transferred to Adams County, where he spent Tuesday night in the Adams County Jail until his Wednesday afternoon court appearance.
Raad faces one count of grooming, a Class 4 felony, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Between the two charges, Raad could receive anywhere from probation to up to three years in prison. If found guilty, he also would have to register as a sex offender. He has no prior criminal record.
Raad appeared before Adams County Circuit Judge Tad Brenner and was shackled while wearing a white t-shirt and black running pants. The Schnack Law Office is representing Raad.
Charging documents allege Raad used the internet on Sept. 23 to communicate and attempt to seduce, solicit or entice the child, to commit criminal sexual abuse or otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person claimed to be a child — in this case, the 13-year-old female victim with the initials C.M.
Brenner read one alleged communication in court, a text that read, “I know you want my d**k so bad.” Raad also allegedly sent pictures of his sex organs to the girl.
Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck, representing the state, argued for Raad to be detained. She said three more victims may be coming forward, which could bring about more charges.
“I would note that both the nature of the offenses, as well as the concern for the protection of the public in the future, indicates that by clear and convincing evidence the defendant should be detained,” she said.
Casey Schnack asked for pre-trial release so Raad could continue his studies. She also said this is his first offense, and no charges involving other victims have yet to be made. She also brought up how the charges of this crime are affected by the implementation of the Safe-T Act in Illinois.
“We are looking at a Class 4 felony and a Class A misdemeanor, which by and large are not the most serious crimes that anybody has come into this courtroom with,” Schnack said. “Certainly and prior to the implementation of the Safe-T Act, pretrial detention for a Class 4 felony and Class A misdemeanor is something that would rarely even be considered, let alone argued in court.”
A news release about Raad’s arrest from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said, “This individual was released with pre-trial release conditions due to the Illinois SAFE-T act.”
Brenner ruled Raad would be under home confinement at his Quincy address with a GPS tracker attached. He said he could not leave the jail until the tracker was in place, which he expected to take a couple of days.
Brenner said he could not allow Raad to return to Champaign because of the severity of the charges and the “access to thousands of other potential victims.” He ordered Raad to have no contact with the victim. He also is not to have any access to social media or Internet unless it is in an effort to maintain his studies.
Raad is scheduled to return to court Nov. 14 for his arraignment.
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