Police: Carnival Worker and Girlfriend Solicited 16-Year-Old Girl for Sex

Police said the carnie may have tracked girl via Facebook and then texted her pictures of himself and his girlfriend having sex, suggesting a threesome.

A carnival worker and his girlfriend have been accused of sending sexually explicit photos and text messages to a 16-year-old high school student.

James West, 25, of Evergreen Park, and his girlfriend, Lauren Papiez, 20, of Oak Lawn were charged with one count each of indecent solicitation of a child, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The two were arrested on Sept. 16. West was taken into custody at , where he was operating rides for Spectacular Midway Amusement.

Police said the girl believes West got her phone number off of Facebook. She also told police her birth date is on her Facebook page and that West knows she is 16.

A teacher at the school discovered the explicit text messages on the student’s phone after the teacher confiscated it when the girl violated the school’s cell phone policy, reports said.

The girl was sent to the school dean, who contacted the girl’s mother. Both went to to talk to detectives.

Police said the girl met West at in August. On Sept. 4, the girl ran into West at Toyota Park, where he was operating carnival rides. The next day she went back with a friend to Toyota Park, where police said she and West had a quick conversation.

Several weeks later, police reports state, West sent a photo of his penis to the girl’s cell phone. West followed up the photo with a text message and encouraged the girl to send him a picture of himself.

When she sent him a photo of herself with her clothes on, West texted back, “that’s not what I mean.” The report said she then sent him a nude photo of herself. The girl told police that she took the picture in her bedroom.

According to the report, the girl asked West to stop texting her two or three times. Police said West sent the girl several nude photos of himself, as well as picture of himself having sex with his girlfriend.

The week of the fall carnival, police said West and his girlfriend, Papiez, discussed having a threesome with the girl. On Sept. 14, the girl left school and met West at a gas station. He picked her up and drove her to his girlfriend’s apartment in Oak Lawn, police said.

After hanging out a while, the girl told the couple she had to get back to the school. The couple dropped her off at the high school. The girl said nothing sexual happened at Papiez’s apartment or in the car on the way back to school, reports state.

The girl went to the high school carnival with some friends around 5 p.m. Sept. 15. Police said West grabbed the girl’s arm when they saw each other at the carnival and told her to come with him. She ignored his texts and did not see him for the rest of the day, police said.

The girl told police that West asked her once to delete all the pictures and texts they had sent to each other. He also threatened to have the girl arrested for trespassing, reports said.

She was able to identify West from a photo lineup, police said. West was taken into custody at the high school carnival and brought to the station.

West and his girlfriend were both charged on Sept. 19. No further court information was available.

Anon Person July 22, 2012 at 02:48 AM
I personally know James West unfortunatly. The man is sick and twisted in a number of ways. Him having a fascination with young girls is one of them. He has been known to do this to mulitple young girls...its just now getting out. Not to mention he likes to beat on woman. I have not spoken to James in a while because of the type of person he is, but I was not at all surprised when I read this article. The whole time I was reading I just kept thinking "Yep, thats Jim!". He not only needs to be locked up, he needs a complete psychological evalution. There is something wrong with that man. This is coming from very personal experience.
Ann Last August 04, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Nice work on the teacher's part. Mandated reporters are often key to solving this type of crime. Yes, the teacher has the right to access the phone messages for numerous reasons. The basic reason is that a school policy was violated. The student probably denied she was using the phone in class, and the teacher probably checked the phone to see if this was true, in which case she would have returned the phone to the student. It could also be that the phone was being used during a test or quiz, in which case the teacher needs to determine if cheating occurred.
Dave W. August 05, 2012 at 01:12 AM
There is no reason for a kid to have a phone in school anyway...the world moved fine before them, it will be fine if everyone of them disappeared tomorrow...the kids are there to learn, not text, anyway...too bad if the parents cannot control their kid, I wouldn't want my kid to have classtime disrupted because of another kid's phone. A parent that doesn't like it, homeschool your coddled brat and let them text while in THAT 'class'...
andrea September 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I to know him and I can't agree with you more! I just feel bad for this girl he got in trouble for his facinations.
anthony September 13, 2012 at 05:13 PM
No offense Dave How is it a lifetime decision...Because of what someone's going to say? Because the don't have contraception? Because it is a sin? Because it hurts relatives feelings... A hormonal biological function.... The point is the taboo thrill stems from the Lifetime decision talk... My opinion again no offense... As for the predator. No doubt he had some lascivious intention that was thwarted.. I believe Anon even if it was a code name.. Some guys and girls like the lecher role..... One is not required by law to have integrity only to obey the age restrictions. Throw the book at the 2...


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