VANDALIA — A Missouri man was arrested in Vandalia on Friday and has been charged with Traveling to Meet a Minor as well as Grooming. 41- year old Shelby D. Weston of Monett, Missouri was arrested at the Vandalia McDonald’s on Friday night in response to a report of harassment. Weston has been charged in Fayette County Court with one count of Traveling to Meet a Minor as information states Weston is alleged to have “knowingly traveled to Illinois from the State of Missouri for the purpose of engaging in the offense of Criminal Sexual Abuse with a child, after said defendant used a computer on-line service and/or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce the victim, a child.”
The offense is a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in prison. Weston is also charged with one count of Grooming. Illinois Compiled Statutes explain the offense as “a person commits grooming when he or she knowingly uses a computer on-line service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child, a child’s guardian, or another person believed by the person to be a child or a child’s guardian, to commit any sex offense.” Information on the count Weston is charged with states that Weston is alleged to have “knowingly used a computer on-line service and/or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to seduce the victim, a child, to commit the offense of Criminal Sexual Abuse, in that after having knowledge of the victim’s age the defendant continued to have sexual in nature conversations with the victim and traveled to Vandalia and invited the victim to meet him in his hotel room. The grooming offense if a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.
Weston made his first appearance in court on Monday afternoon and was advised as to the charges and bond was set at $250,000. Weston will make his first appearance with counsel on April 3 at 11am.