Former Darien camp counselor, substitute teacher charged with grooming 'young girl'

A former Darien camp counselor and substitute teacher has been charged with sending sexually explicit messages to undercover detectives posing as an underage girl.

James R. Wood, 35, of the 7500 block of Farmingdale Drive, was arrested Thursday at his place of employment in Naperville by sheriff's detectives without incident, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

According to investigators, Wood engaged undercover detectives, posing as a girl under the age of 15, in graphic conversations on a social media app.


After learning the 'girl's' age, Wood requested nude photos of her and also exposed himself to her on the app, according to the sheriff's office.

James R. Wood (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Wood allegedly informed the 'girl' he planned to travel to Lake County to have sex with her, but couldn't find the time after starting a new job, the release said.

Investigators also discovered Wood had recently worked as a camp counselor and substitute teacher in the Darien area.

"We cannot stress this enough – please do not let your children communicate on social media applications with anyone, unless you as their parent or guardian have personally verified it is someone they know," said Sheriff John Idleburg. "Predators use every day social media applications to prey on children of all ages from all communities."

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with further information on Wood to contact their local police department.

Wood has been charged with three felony counts of grooming, the sheriff's office said. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on July 26.