Dixon man sentenced to three years in prison for soliciting a minor

Ernest L. Lopeman Sr.

DIXON – A Dixon man who court records show had a misdemeanor sex abuse conviction nearly 30 years ago now has a similar felony conviction.

Ernest L. Lopeman Sr., 46, formerly of Sterling and Rock Falls, was charged Feb. 24, 2023, and sentenced Oct. 16 in Lee County court to three years in prison for indecent solicitation of a minor, a 16-year-old girl he tried to entice into sex in February 2021, according to Lee County court records. One count of grooming was dismissed per a plea agreement.

Upon his release, Lopeman must register as a sex offender, the records indicate. He was given credit for 253 days served in Lee County jail.

When he was convicted in 1995 of misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse, he was sentenced to two years’ probation and required to register as a sex offender for 10 years, according to court documents.

Lopeman also has a history of other felony convictions, including a 1996 theft in Lee County, and 1996 and 1998 thefts and a 2005 forgery in Whiteside County, court records show; he was given probation in all but the two Whiteside theft cases, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.