Lafayette Man Arrested on Child Solicitation Charge

(BEDFORD) – A Lafayette man is facing a felony count of child solicitation after he allegedly messaged and agreed to meet an alleged 15-year-old girl.

Willie Richardson

Investigators arrested 28-year-old Willie Richardson IV, Monday morning.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, an Indiana State Police investigator met with a person who had created a fake Facebook profile in an attempt to identify a child predator.

The person told police they created the accounts on their own and these profiles were not requested by any law enforcement agency. The person told police he created a profile as “Erica” who is a 15-year-old girl and shared it with random Facebook users.

The person says Richardson, sent an unsolicited message to “Erica”. Over the course of several more messages and after Richardson realized “Erica” was only 15 years of age, he solicited “Erica” to engage in sexual intercourse. Investigators say Richardson initiated the conversations and sent “Erica” 11 messages that contained sexually explicit messages and two sexually explicit of himself.

Investigators say, Richardson agreed to drive to the Bloomington Walmart where he planned to pick “Erica” up, rent a hotel room, take illegal drugs with “Erica”, and have sex with her.

But when Richardson arrived in Bloomington he didn’t meet “Erica” but the man who created the fake profile. That man then videoed his encounter with Richardson which he provided to police.

Richardson denied on the video he was there to meet any girl.

Investigators were then able to track down Richardson at his home in Briarwood Court in Lafayette.

The information was forwarded to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and a warrant was issued for Richardson’s arrest.