By Joe Beck
A man arrested by Woodstock police during an investigation in which an investigator impersonated a child online was indicted Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on charges of attempting to take indecent liberties with a child younger than 15 and use of a computer to solicit sex.
Hobart Day, 51, of Woodstock remained free on bail after hearing the charges read against him by Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp. Hupp scheduled Day's next court appearance for Nov. 7.
There are no child victims in the case, although police contend they caught Day attempting to arrange sex with someone he falsely believed to be a minor.
Day was arrested in late June after a police investigator used a false identity, bogus text messages and other forms of electronic media to schedule a meeting with Day at a specific location.
Police said the investigation began when Day came to their attention through an advertisement on the Craigslist website from someone identifying himself as a mature man seeking the company of a younger male.
Investigator Derek Good said the department routinely checks Craigslist and other online advertising services for adults attempting to lure children into sexual relationships.
Good said he identified himself as a 14-year-old male when he replied to Day's advertisement on Craigslist.
After exchanging text messages with Day over a few days, the communications began to include sexuality, according to police.
Good claims Day asked to meet the person with whom he was chatting online and Good accepted the invitation, still playing the role of a 14-year-old boy.
Good said the meeting was arranged after Day allegedly raised the possibility of sexual activity between them.
Police said Day was arrested with no resistance when he arrived at the appointed location to meet the fictitious 14-year-old.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org