A Jacksonville man, who is a known registered sex offender, is behind bars after getting caught by Southern Illinois police detectives and investigative journalists grooming a minor for sex online. 27 year old Kyle D. Upchurch of the 900 block of Hackett Avenue, was arrested in Vandalia as part of a sting operation facilitated by the group KTS Predator Hunters. He was formally charged Thursday with grooming of a minor, indecent solicitation of a child with the intent of committing a criminal sexual act and traveling to meet a minor to commit sexual misconduct, according to Fayette County court documents. All are felonies and bail has been set at $40,000 according to a report from the Journal Courier.
Upchurch was first convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor in 2013. He has been charged in the years since with misdemeanor retail theft, disorderly conduct and distribution of explicit material to a minor, as well as felony charges of cyberstalking and violating sexual offender registration laws.
In this latest incident, according to charging documents, Upchurch drove to Vandalia for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with a person he believed to be a minor after he used an Internet service to seduce the person for that purpose. The grooming charge contends Upchurch sent sexually explicit pictures and messages to the person he believed to be a female teenager. The entire event of Upchurch’s arrest was captured by the KTS Predator Hunters on a live stream video, which was viewed by 37,000 people on Facebook. Upchurch was arrested inside a Vandalia Wal-Mart and is currently awaiting his first appearance in Fayette County court.