RI man pleads guilty to attempted enticement of a minor

Originally Posted Online: March 26, 2013, 7:32 pm
Last Updated: March 26, 2013, 7:32 pm
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By Anthony Watt awatt@qconline.com

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.

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