A Rock Island man pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of attempted enticement of a minor.
Robert W. Blackard Jr., age unavailable, was accused of trying to convince an undercover agent, whom he thought was a 13-year-old boy, to have sleepovers with him and a 14-year-old boy from Texas he allegedly planned to adopt.
Mr. Blackard began corresponding last year via Facebook with the undercover agent, who went by the name "Greg" and claimed to be in eighth grade, according to court records from the Rock Island branch of the U.S. District Court for Central Illinois. The conversations became increasingly sexual and, earlier this year, Mr. Blackard agreed to pick up "Greg" at a Quad-Cities McDonald's.
When he arrived, Mr. Blackard was arrested by police.
Scheduled for trial in April, Mr. Blackard on Monday entered a blind plea of guilty to the charge, court records state. The trial was canceled, and he now is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10.
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.