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Crime & Courts

Police: Man had explicit conversations with teens in St. Charles, Batavia

ST. CHARLES – Police are continuing their investigation into a Naperville man accused of posing as a St. Charles East High School student on Facebook.

Eric Hakala, 37, of the 1100 block of Iroquois Avenue, Naperville, has been accused of attempting to meet underage girls through the Internet for sexual encounters.

He is charged with indecent solicitation, grooming, having harmful material and possession of child pornography, and remains in DuPage County jail on a $1 million bond.

According to Naperville police, Hakala posed as a 15-year-old East student named “Mike Evans” on Facebook. Hakala used this fake account to have explicit conversations and exchange photos with other Facebook users in the St. Charles and Batavia area, police said.

“Batavia police were contacted, and they have identified several local teenage victims,” according to a news release from the Naperville Police Department.

The Naperville Police Department, together with the Batavia and Oswego police departments and the U.S. Marshals Service, conducted a seven-month investigation into Hakala’s alleged activities.

“We’re trying to identify additional victims,” said Naperville Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso, the department’s public information officer.

The first victim was from Oswego, Cammiso said.

Hakala’s attorney, Vince Solano, said he hasn’t seen the charges against his client.

“We will see how it shakes out and see what kind of evidence they have,” Solano said Friday. “It is an unfortunate arrest.”

Naperville police are asking parents in the Batavia, St. Charles and Oswego area to sit with their children and go over their Facebook friends and the cellphone application KIK for the “Mike Evans” account in their friends and/or contact list.

Parents should report the activity to the Naperville Police Department High Technology Crimes Unit at 630-305-5384 or the Batavia Police Department Investigations Unit at 630-454-2500.

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