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RACINE COUNTY –  A Burlington man was being held in the Racine County Jail after chatting online about having sex with whom he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Instead, his conversations were with a Racine County Sheriff’s Office investigator.

Chad J. Van Swol, 43, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, a Class C felony. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The criminal complaint: Chad J. Van Swol

According to the criminal complaint, Van Swol used a computer to contact and converse with what he thought was a 15-year-old female between last Friday (Nov. 4) and Monday (Nov. 7). During the conversations, Van Swol described various sexual acts. The complaint stated that during the communication, the Sheriff’s Office investigator made the comment “as long as it doesn’t weird u out that I’m 15.” Van Swol allegedly commented, “not at all I told you that is really hot to me.”

Chad J. Van Swol – Credit: Racine County Jail

On Monday, the two agreed to meet at the Pike River Pathway near the 900 block of Oakes Road in the Village of Mount Pleasant. That’s where Van Swol was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies.

Prior to that conversation, they discussed the use of condoms and Van Swol mentioned stopping at Walmart to get condoms, according to the complaint. Van Swol had a condom in his possession when he was arrested.

The investigation that led to Van Swol’s arrest was led by the Racine County Criminal Investigation Bureau in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Milwaukee Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.

Van Swol made an initial appearance Thursday afternoon in Racine County District Court where cash bail was set at $25,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., Racine.

In a separate news release announcing the arrest, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office encourages parents to monitor their children’s social media and other online activities. Parents should converse with their children about internet safety and how to ask an adult for help. Visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children online for age-appropriate power point presentations and videos reference starting meaningful conversations.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...