Van Buren Police arrested a 19-year-old Crawford County teen on Thursday (June 12) after he showed up at a car wash thinking he was meeting an 11-year-old girl for sex, according to a news release.
Police were first contacted by the parent of the 11-year-old after finding communication between the girl and the 19-year-old on the child’s Facebook account. In the initial conversation, the teen was asking the girl to meet him at the Alma Water Park. Police took over the investigation after being informed of the situation, the release states.
Investigators maintained contact with the male throughout the day on June 12. The conversation started to become sexual in nature, and partial nude photos were sent to a person the male believed was the 11-year-old girl.
During the investigation, authorities found the identity of the man to be Nicholas D. Wilbanks, 19, of Crawford County, according to the release.
Through a conversation held via text message, Wilbanks asked to meet with the child to engage in a sex act. At approximately 5 p.m. on June 12, Wilbanks arrived at the Thunder Bay Car Wash located at 2621 Fayetteville Road in Van Buren, the release states.
Wilbanks thought he was going to meet the child, but instead, he was met by officers of the Van Buren Police Department and deputies from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.
Through the entire conversation, Wilbanks was fully aware of the child’s age, but that didn’t stop him from continuing, the release states.
The victim and Wilbanks had never met before, and the communication prior to the police being contacted was a very short time period, according to the release.
Wilbanks was booked into the Crawford County Detention Center.
He had a $7500 bond and faces a charge of computer child pornography. He later bonded out.