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 Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The Rt. Rev. Harry I. Witherspoon, D.D. Bishop of Illinois, willpreach in Trinity (Episcopal) Church, in this city this evening. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Mississippi River flooded itsbanks at Rock Island, destroying the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber companyand damaging the Lumber Company and arsenal power plant. Total loss isestimated at $100.000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of South Rock Island township are circulating a petitionfavoring the annexation of that area to the city of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Thomas Ackles, of Rock Island, has been elected president ofthe Playcrafters for the next season. She succeeds Warren Leonard. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Some 8,000 people filed through the gates of Rock Island Arsenal on Saturday to view a display of a part of the nation's armed strength. The occasion was theannual observance of Armed Forces Day. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Willis Kuschmann, of Moline, who already has won his laurels as oneof the most artistic men in the Quad-Cities area, has a new hobby. He is deeply involvedin miniature railroading. At the age of 88, when many other seniors are dozing in theirchairs or sitting before the television, Mr. Kuschmann is planning and working on hiscollection.