A Rock Island man is scheduled to appear in federal court today on a charge of attempted enticement of a minor.
Robert W Blackard Jr., age unavailable, was indicted Friday in federal court. Police say he tried to convince an undercover agent, whom he thought was a 13-year-old boy, to have sleepovers with himself and a 14-year-old boy from Texas he allegedly planned to adopt.
In June, Mr. Blackard began corresponding with the undercover agent, who went by the name "Greg" and claimed to be in eighth grade, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Rock Island branch of the U.S. District Court for Central Illinois.
In Facebook conversations, Mr. Blackard indicated he was adopting a seventh-grader named "Randy" whose father, he said, allowed Mr. Blackard to share a bed with the teen, records state.
Police began investigating Mr. Blackard after the Rock island Police Department received an anonymous tip in June from someone concerned that the Rock Island man was sexually abusing "Randy," records indicate.
The criminal complaint states that, during his Facebook conversations, Mr. Blackard "consistently indicated that Randy was coming to Rock Island and that Greg should hang out with Randy and Blackard, such as by swimming together, playing video games together, eating pizza together, or sleeping over together at Blackard's apartment."
Mr. Blackard allegedly claimed he and "Randy" often wore only underwear at home and invited "Greg" to do the same, records said. The conversations became increasing sexual and, on Friday, Mr. Blackard agreed to pick up "Greg" at an area McDonald's.
Upon his arrival to the restaurant's parking lot, Mr. Blackard was arrested by police.
Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2014. There are 151 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Because of the National Fast, no paper will be issued from this office tomorrow. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Attracting considerable attention is a sunflower stalk 15 feet high and still growing in the yard of Dr. C. Speidel on 23rd Street in Rock Island. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The municipal bathing beach proposition came up again at the city commission's meeting and a proposition passed, provided that a locker room be constructed at the foot of 7th Street for the accommodation of the bathers. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for erecting a $14,000 warehouse to replace the frame structure at the rear of the Augustana Book Concern were announced. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Hours for tours of the new Deere & Co. Administrative Center on John Deere Road will be changed, effective Monday. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Tuesday night at the Great Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave its fans more than they possibly could have expected. The band took the stage at 9:07 p.m. and didn't leave until 10:40.