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Man Lured 12-Year-Old Girl Online

Indianapolis Star via YellowBrix

November 01, 2010

WESTFIELD, IL – The weekend arrest of an Illinois man who police said had a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old Hamilton County girl is a stark reminder that parents must be vigilant about children’s Internet use, a local victims’ advocate says.

“Child sexual abuse knows no boundaries,” said Toby Stark, executive director of Chaucie’s Place, a Hamilton County organization that supports juvenile victims of sexual and physical abuse. “It does not discriminate. It’s really something all of us in society have to pay attention to.”

Westfield police arrested Samuel Henzel, 29, Oak Park, Ill., on Saturday at Comfort Suites, 15131 Thatcher Lane.

He faces preliminary charges of sexual battery and confinement, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and drug possession, according to a written release from Mike Wheeler, Westfield police public information officer.

Police did not say how Henzel and the girl met online but said the girl was riding her bike when Henzel picked her up and took her to the motel near U.S. 31 and 151st Street.

Henzel told police that he and the girl communicated online and had planned their meeting in Westfield, the release said. Police also said Henzel told them he knew the girl’s age.

Police did not say where in Hamilton County the girl lives, whether she required medical treatment or what her condition was. The Indianapolis Star generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

An era of widespread online communications through computers and cell phones makes it more difficult for parents to shield impressionable children from sexual risk, Stark said.

“The message is to keep the lines of communication open with your children,” she said. “You have to pay attention to the worlds your child is living in, but sadly, things can happen.”

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