CHARLESTON (JG-TC) — A Mattoon man was ordered to receive counseling and have no contact with a girl when he admitted he tried to electronically solicit a sex act with her.
Kenneth D. Simpson, 49, for whom records list an address of 508½ Moultrie Ave., pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted grooming.
The charge accused Simpson of using an unspecified electronic device to “seduce, solicit, lure or entice” a child to commit a sex offense. Specifically, the charge alleged that he sent a text message to a girl on Nov. 19 of last year offering $65 to “fix that problem I talked about earlier.”
With the agreement reached in his case, the charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and Simpson was placed on probation for two years.
The original felony offense could have brought a prison sentence of one to three years though prison time wouldn’t have been required.
In addition to the counseling and no contact with the girl, probation terms for Simpson also included $1,800 in fines.
Jail time was also ordered but it was stayed, meaning he won’t have to serve it now but some or all of it could be imposed if he violates any of his sentence’s requirements. Simpson will also have to register with police as a convicted sex offender.
No other details about the case were available. Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Bucher, who prosecuted, didn’t return phone calls and attorney Todd Reardon, who represented Simpson, declined to comment.
Circuit Judge James Glenn sentenced Simpson based on the terms of a plea agreement that the two attorneys recommended.
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