Berwyn tattoo artist accused of trying to meet 15-year-old girl for sex

CBS News Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A tattoo artist from Berwyn has been charged with multiple felonies after police said he solicited a minor for sex.

Gerardo Melendez, 32, was really talking to a Cook County Sheriff's police investigators, according to the Sheriff's office.

Cook County Sheriff's Police

In January, Sheriff's police investigators assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit were put into contact with a woman who noticed there had been inappropriate messages on a social media app between her 15-year-old daughter and Melendez, the Sheriff's office said.

Melendez had previously met with the teenage girl when her mother took her to him to get the teen's first tattoo in November of last year, the Sheriff's office said.

With the mother's permission, sheriff's investigators took over the conversation and posed as the 15-year-old girl, the Sheriff's office said.

Over the next four weeks, Melendez sent multiple sexually explicit texts and a sexually explicit photo to what he thought was the girl, and arranged to meet her at a coffee shop in Lyons at 10:30 a.m. this past Thursday, the Sheriff's office said.

Melendez was arrested on the spot when he arrived. He is now charged with two counts of indecent solicitation of a child and one count each of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, traveling to meet a child, manufacturing harmful material, and grooming, the Sheriff's office said.

He is due for a bond hearing on Saturday.

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