Illinois Pastor Charged With Grooming Teen Girl for Sex

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Prior to answering the door former pastor and radio host of  Christian radio station WLUJ in Illinois, Joseph M. Krol was seen getting his cell phone and “manipulating the buttons while standing in the kitchen area,” said Sgt. Roger Pope with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

“The former pastor of a Decatur church grabbed his phone and tried to wipe it of evidence he had been sending sexual messages and images to a 15-year-old girl when he realized the police were knocking on his door,” a sworn affidavit said.

“Deputies immediately located his phone, but (he) had factory reset the phone in an attempt to wipe all of the data,” said Pope.

Krol, 36, was booked at the county jail on Oct. 15 and charged with the Class 4 felony charge of grooming. The offense is defined as attempting to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child to commit a sex act.

“(She) allowed me to take over her Snapchat account and act as her while conversing with Krol,” said Pope in the affidavit. “During our conversations, Krol requested photos of (the girl) in her underwear. Unsolicited, he sent her Snapchat a video (showing the outline of his genitalia). He also asked her sexually explicit questions about … her fantasies to include her interest in older men.”

Rochester Baptist posted a statement online. “We as a church are grieved to learn of this allegation involving Dr. Krol,” the church said. “Because we take this seriously, we have immediately suspended Dr. Krol from all responsibilities. We have great concern and are in prayer for all affected by the situation and will cooperate with any law enforcement investigation.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. “Snapchat’s business model facilitates sexual exploitation yielding hefty profits for the company without any regard for the associated harms,” NCOSE states. “While Snapchat has made some minor improvements to allow Discover publishers to age-gate content, Snapchat still does not allow users to opt-out of sexually graphic content or to report Snapchat users that are sending sexually explicit photos and videos, or using their Snapchat app to promote or advertise pornography or prostitution.”

Krol will remain in custody at Macon County Jail, with bail set at $75,000 and need to post a bond of $7,500 to be freed.

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—By CNJ Staff

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