Joseph Hughes

St. Clair County Sheriffs Dept. photo

Sexual exploitation arrest in St. Clair County

Suspect is 27 year old Normandy, Missouri man

March 22, 2019 - 7:20 pm

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) - A Normandy, Mo. man is accused of luring a girl under the age of 16 to have sex with him in St. Clair County.

Sheriff's deputies say 27-year-old Joseph Hughes faces four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, one count of sexual expoitation of a minor, and one count of travelling across state lines to meet a minor.

Hughes allegedly met the victim through the internet and arranged a meeting place just outside of Belleville.

Bond is set at $100,000.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson issued this statement, "Unfortunately child sexual exploitation is a growing crime, with all the avenues out there for children and juveniles to meet people online. I know it can be difficult, but parents need to be vigilant in knowing who their children are communicating with on the web. Parents are the first line of defense to prevent victimization. These predators are expert manipulators, and parents need to talk to their children about these kinds of situations."