Man charged with child abduction in Champaign incident

Man charged with child abduction in Champaign incident

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police arrested an Urbana man Thursday afternoon shortly after he allegedly tried to get a girl to get in his car in north Champaign.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Friday that she charged Ricky Allen Smith, 53, a convicted sex offender, with child abduction.

Champaign police Sgt. Dave Griffet said the 12-year-old girl was walking near the intersection of Hickory and Bellefontaine streets about 3:30 p.m. when a man in a car approached her and offered her $20 to get in with him.

The girl went directly to her home on Hickory Street and told her mother what had happened. Another teen in the neighborhood was able to get the car's license plate and give that information to the mother, who relayed it to police.

Griffet said that within minutes, Sgt. John Schweighart found the vehicle driven by Smith as he drove in the area of Eureka and Hickory street. Smith, who listed an address in the 1200 block of West Eureka Street, Urbana, was alone.

Griffet said the girl identified Smith as the man who had approached her.

He was arrested and taken to the police department for questioning, Griffet said, and later to the county jail.

Rietz said that Smith was convicted in Champaign County in July 1993 of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for fondling a 14-year-old Urbana girl but was no longer required to register as a sex offender because the time period for which he was required to do so had lapsed.

Even though the girl did not get in the car Thursday, Rietz said that the charge of child abduction includes an attempt to lure a child into a car. It's a Class 4 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to one to three years in prison upon conviction.

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