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Racine County SheriffA 52-year-old Illinois man is in jail after he was arrested for having a sexually explicit conversation with a person he thought was a 15-year-old girl, according to a press release by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

Joseph F. Verna, of Plainfield Illinois, believed he was meeting a 15-year-old girl to have sex with her, but instead had a date with undercover investigators with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

Verna was arrested for possession of child pornography, use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement-sex act, and second-degree sexual assault of a child: contact/intercourse. But he has not officially been charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Sheriff Chris Schmaling issued the following statement:

“I’m very proud of the commitment and hard work my investigative team brings to these very intense and challenging cases.  They are truly making an impact towards the safety of our children here in Racine County.  I’m deeply committed to providing the necessary investigative resources to hunt down these sexual predators that prey upon our children.”

Verna was taken into custody and is being held at the Racine County Jail on $400,000 bail.

The investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.