Prosecutors: Teacher`s aide posed as teen to meet girls online - FOX 32 News Chicago

Prosecutors: Teacher`s aide posed as teen to meet girls online

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Randall Gilbert, 34. (Cook County Sheriff's Office) Randall Gilbert, 34. (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A 34-year-old aide at a northwest suburban school for special-needs children is behind bars for going online posing as a teen to meet young girls, prosecutors claim.

Randall Scott Gilbert, 34, of Hoffman Estates, is being held in the Cook County Jail on a $25,000 bond after being charged with possession of child pornography, according to a statement from the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

The state's attorney's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Hoffman Estates police learned that a man had been going online pretending to be a 17-year-old boy to meet and talk with underage girls in chat rooms.

The investigation led to Gilbert through his IP address and chat account, which showed him initiating chats with young girls, prosecutors said.

While online, he engaged in "sexually explicit ‘chats' with many underage girls in an attempt to meet them in person," the statement said. The conversations sometimes went on for several months until Gilbert revealed his age.

Gilbert also used the chat rooms to trade images of child pornography, prosecutors allege.

He was arrested Thursday by Hoffman Estates police, and a forensic investigation found numerous images of child pornography on his computer.

Gilbert works as a teachers' aide at the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization's Kirk School in Palatine, which serves students with handicaps and learning disabilities, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors do not believe any of the child porn images found in Gilbert's possession showed students at the school.

In Rolling Meadows on Friday, Judge Jill Cerone-Marisie set bond at $25,000 and set a preliminary hearing for March 28.

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