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59-year-old Racine man allegedly tried to initiate sexual contact with an underage boy through Grindr

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MOUNT PLEASANT — A Racine man tried to initiate sexual contact with an underage boy through Grindr, a dating application for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

Benigno Q. Velasquez, 59, of the 1400 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, was charged with felony counts of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and child enticement and a misdemeanor count of attempt sexual intercourse with a child.

According to a criminal complaint:

On Feb. 25, an officer was sent to the area of Hunter Drive and Kinzie Avenue for an informational report from the boy.

Upon arrival, the boy said on Feb. 19 he created a Grindr account and informed other users that he was underage. He began messaging someone, who was later identified as Velasquez, who sent him sexual messages even after the man was informed the boy was underage. The boy showed the officer the messages, many of which allegedly contained sexual acts Velasquez wanted to perform on the boy.

Benigno Velasquez

Velasquez

An investigator assumed control of the boy’s Grindr account on Friday and continued messaging with Velasquez.

A meeting was agreed upon for Saturday at Dunkin’ Donuts, 6026 Washington Ave. Once Velasquez arrived, he was arrested and admitted to the officers that the messages he sent to the boy were sexual in nature and that he knew he was underage.

Velasquez was given a $15,000 cash bond in Racine County Circuit Court on Tuesday. A preliminary court hearing is set for March 11 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., online court records show.

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