Crime & Courts

Naperville youth organization official charged with possessing child porn

The vice president of a nonprofit Naperville youth development organization has been charged with possession of child pornography.

Erich Kroll, 48, a leader with KidsMatter, was arrested Tuesday at his home on Holly Avenue in an unincorporated area near Darien.

He is charged with four felony counts of possessing videos of girls who appear to be under 13 years old and one count of possession of a still image depicting a girl under 18.

At a bail hearing Wednesday afternoon, DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Meindl said the messaging app Kik notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user had viewed and shared child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children contacted Darien police, who notified the DuPage County sheriff.

According to Meindl, Kroll admitted to investigators that it was his Kik account. He also admitted to downloading the items and sharing them in chat rooms, Meindl said.

Kik advertises that it is “the only chat platform built for teens.”

Judge John Kinsella set bail at $150,000. Kroll would need to post $15,000 to be released pretrial. If he does post bail, he is allowed to use the internet only at his workplace at a bank. He must stay away from children except his own.

The case was investigated by the Forensic Digital Investigations Unit of the DuPage County sheriff’s office.

Nina Menis, the CEO and executive director of KidsMatter, said the organization learned of the charges Wednesday. It then called a board meeting, and the board voted to remove Kroll from the board.

Menis said Kroll’s volunteer work was primarily in fundraising, not programming.

She said KidsMatter is dedicated to helping youths build positive values, healthy relationships and self-esteem in Will and DuPage counties.