Sex offender accused of contacting kids via Facebook
By Bill Bird email@example.com October 9, 2013 7:12PM
Eric Thor Hakala / photo from Napwerville police
Updated: November 11, 2013 12:28PM
A convicted sex offender from Naperville has been arrested and charged with having sexually-charged, Facebook conversations with teenagers in Batavia, Oswego and St. Charles.
Eric T. Hakala, 37, was arrested about 4:11 p.m. Tuesday on or near the campus of Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., according to a written Naperville police report.
Hakala faces trial on a total of 15 felony charges of indecent solicitation of a child, grooming, dispensing harmful material and possession of child pornography.
The arrest followed a seven-month-long investigation by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Batavia, Naperville and Oswego police departments, Naperville police Sgt. Lou Cammiso said Wednesday in a news release.
Hakala is accused of creating a Facebook account using the alias Mike Evans, in which he described himself as being a 15-year-old student at St. Charles East High School, Cammiso said. The account was illustrated with a bogus photograph of a brown-haired, teenage boy.
“It is alleged that with this fictitious Facebook account, he was able to carry on conversations through Facebook with minor children,” Cammiso said of Hakala.
Members of the Naperville Police Department’s High Technology Crime Unit also discovered “Hakala had been allegedly having numerous sexual conversations, as well as trading inappropriate pictures, with several minor children over Facebook” in the guise of Mike Evans, Cammiso said.
Those youths were residents of the Batavia-St. Charles area. Cammiso said Batavia police subsequently “identified several local teenage victims.”
Police are asking parents and guardians in the Oswego-Batavia-St. Charles area “to sit with their teen children and go over their Facebook friends, and the cell phone application KIK for the ‘Mike Evans’ account in their friends and/or contact list,” Cammiso said.
“If contact has been made with your teen, please do not report this activity to Facebook,” Cammiso said. “Preserve any and all conversations and photos your teen may have exchanged with the Mike Evans Facebook account.”
Cammiso also asked concerned parents to call the Naperville police High Technology Crimes Unit, at 630-305-5384; or the Batavia police Investigations Unit, at 630-454-2500.
Hakala on Jan. 3, 2000 went to the Parkside Skating Rink near Aurora, where he anticipated meeting and then having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl he had met via the Internet. Instead, detectives from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office arrested him on a charge of indecent solicitation of a child.
Hakala at the time was 23, working as a telephone line installer and living on East Bailey Road in central Naperville. A sheriff’s investigator posed as a 13-year-old girl during sexually-explicit, Internet conversations with him.
A Kane County Circuit Court judge on Jan. 31, 2001 convicted Hakala of indecent solicitation of a child, according to court records. He was sentenced to six months in jail, ordered to perform 480 hours of community service work, ordered to register as a sex offender and placed on two years of “extended probation,” records indicated.
Hakala got into more trouble on July 1, 2006, after failing to register with police as a sex offender following his move to Bolingbrook.
Records on file in Will County Circuit Court showed Hakala on Dec. 18, 2007 pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced that day to two days in Will County Jail, placed on a year of probation and assessed a total of $818 in fines and legal costs, according to records.
Hakala’s criminal record also includes a 2012 conviction for drunken driving in Aurora.