Crime & Courts

Woodstock man accepts plea deal tied to 2019 attempted kidnapping allegations

Emerson’s attorney calls the outcome fair, says a professional evaluation showed Emerson’s actions were not sexually motivated

A Woodstock man was sentenced to probation Friday after pleading guilty in connection with a 2019 attempted child abduction case.

John C. Emerson, 33, accepted an offer Friday from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office and pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge of unlawful restraint. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed additional, more serious charges, and Emerson was sentenced to two years of probation.

Reached by phone Friday, Emerson’s attorney, George Kililis, called the outcome fair and said a professional evaluation showed Emerson’s actions were not sexually motivated.

Emerson was arrested in June 2019 after a police investigation into a report of a man who allegedly tried to lure a child away from a lemonade stand near Yorkshire Drive and Foxmoor Road in Fox River Grove.

Police at the time said Emerson did not know the girl, who ran away and alerted an adult.

Emerson is barred from having contact with the child as a condition of his sentence, court records show.

Representatives from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie has reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald since 2017. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.