DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced today that a jury has found James Nead, 30 (d.o.b. 1/12/1993) formerly of Naperville, guilty of sexually abusing a thirteen-year-old girl he met on the Internet. The jury returned their verdict this afternoon following a three-day-long trial and approximately three hours of deliberations. In all, the jury found Nead guilty of three counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (Class 2 Felony), one count of Solicitation to Meet a Child (Class 4 Felony) and one count of Traveling to Meet a Child (Class 3 Felony). The trial was in front of Judge Brian Telander. On June 23, 2020, a $150,000 arrest warrant was issued for Nead. He was taken into custody on June 29, 2020, and appeared in Bond Court where bond was set at $150,000 with 10% to apply in accordance with the previously issued arrest warrant. He has remained in custody at the DuPage County Jail since that time.
In June 2019, the victim, a thirteen-year-old girl received a message on Snapchat from an account belonging to Nead. Nead and the victim exchanged photographs through Snapchat and several days later, Nead convinced the girl to meet with him by threatening to release the photographs she had sent to him if she did not meet him. On June 28, the victim met Nead at a strip mall near her house and got into his car. While in his car, Nead sexually abused the victim. After abusing the girl, Nead dropped her off at the strip mall where they met. Later that day, the victim blocked Nead from her Snapchat account. Nead again contacted the victim through another account he created and again threatened the victim with releasing the photographs if she did not meet him again. The victim’s father contacted authorities later that day.
“This afternoon, a jury found that Mr. Nead sexually abused a thirteen-year-old girl he had met anonymously through a social media website,” Berlin said. “It is my hope that this very disturbing case will serve as a reminder to parents to monitor their children’s internet usage and be aware of whom their children are communicating with on social media. I commend the young victim in this case for bringing this matter to the attention of adults and for her strength and courage in confronting the man who sexually abused her. I thank the jury for their service in this very disturbing case as well as Judge Telander for ensuring a fair trial for both sides. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Cathy Nusgart and Heather Misura for their work in holding Mr. Nead responsible for his actions.”
Nead’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 31, 2023, for post-trial motions. He faces a penalty of up to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.