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James G. James Jr.

Kewanee police and Knox County Sheriff's deputies arrest James Gardner James Jr. on Thursday after James, a registered sex offender who is classified as a sexual predator, tried to set up an illicit meeting with a minor on social media. 

A 29-year-old Kewanee, Illinois, man who is listed as a sexual predator on the state’s sex offender registry, is in jail after he solicited a minor on social media and then attempted to meet up with the victim, Kewanee police said.

James Gardner James, Jr., 406 E. 7th St., Kewanee, is charged in Henry County Circuit Court with aggravated criminal sexual abuse-indecent solicitation of a child, traveling to meet a minor, and violating the state’s sex offender registry laws.

Each of those charges is a Class 3 felony under Illinois law that carries a prison sentence of two to five years.

James also is charged with one count of solicitation to meet a child, a Class 4 felony that carries a prison sentence of one to three years.

Kewanee Police said that on Thursday, investigators began a sting operation regarding a person attempting to solicit a minor.

James is alleged to having contact with a minor through social media in an effort to meet up.

James was met by police when he arrived at the agreed upon meeting place and was arrested. The Knox County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the investigation.

A preliminary hearing on the case is set for Dec. 11 in Henry County Circuit Court.

James was being held Friday night in the Henry County Jail on $150,000 bond.

In 2009, James was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim below the age of 13. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry indicates that James’ victim at that time was a 3-year-old and that he was 20-years-old at the time.

Both of the charges were Class 2 felonies that carried a prison sentence of three to seven years.

On Sept. 16, 2009, James pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 180 days in the Henry County Jail with credit for time served. He also was sentenced to four years on probation with the conditions that he must register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry and obtain treatment.

On Sept. 23, charges were filed in Henry County Circuit Court when police arrested James on charges of being a child sex offender loitering in a school zone and being a child sex offender in a school zone.

His probation was revoked and he was sentenced to serve three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

In February of 2013, James was arrested for failing to properly report as a sex offender. On June 13, 2013, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.