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IL- Ex-Con Bryan Halstead Was Arrested After Allegedly Attemptin Tryst With Teenage Girl

5-7-2008 Illinois:

CREST HILL, Ill. (Naperville Sun) ― Former Naperville resident Bryan E. Halstead was freed from prison a little more than four months ago, after serving a 21-year sentence for raping an Aurora girl in 1985 and brutalizing her family in their home.

Halstead, 44, committed suicide Wednesday morning, less than a day after being arrested for trying to arrange a sexual tryst with a Naperville girl.

Halstead reportedly hanged himself with a bedsheet while in a holding cell at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. He had been taken there for violating terms of his parole following his arrest Tuesday afternoon in Naperville.

"We are investigating an apparent suicide of Mr. Halstead from Wednesday morning at Stateville," said Derek Schnapp, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Schnapp refused to discuss how Halstead killed himself.

Halstead in 1985 lived on the 1800 block of Princeton Circle in Naperville. He moved to south suburban Chicago Heights after being paroled from prison on Dec. 27.

Naperville police arrested Halstead at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday on a felony charge of indecent solicitation of a child. He had been accused of using the Internet to try to arrange a meeting with a 16-year-old girl from Naperville.

Police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman said the investigation began May 1, after detectives were contacted by the girl's parents. One of the parents, while monitoring the teen's online activities, found evidence of a "disturbing online chat between their child and another individual that was sexual in nature," communications that had been going on "over the course of the last two weeks," Hoffman said in a written statement.

The suspect, quickly identified as Halstead, had lied to the girl, claiming to be a 16-year-old Naperville boy and asking her to send "inappropriate digital photographs" of herself to his MySpace account, Hoffman said. Detectives set up a sting operation and arrested Halstead in a parking lot on the 500 block of South Washington Street in Naperville, where he believed he would be meeting with the girl, Hoffman said.

Aurora police arrested Halstead on Aug. 26, 1985, at a house on the 2400 block of Lakeside Drive, where his estranged wife was living with her parents and two younger sisters.

Records in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton indicated Halstead, then 21, armed himself with a .357 Magnum before invading the home that afternoon.

He fired a shot that missed striking his then-13-year-old sister-in-law, who was home alone at the time. He then raped the girl in her bedroom before tying her up with rope and forcing her into the basement.

Halstead then waited as his estranged wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law and another sister-in-law arrived home one by one through the afternoon, confronting and hog-tying all of them with rope.

He shot his estranged father-in-law in the left arm and left him bleeding for nearly five hours in the basement with the rest of the family. The father-in-law ultimately underwent surgery to have his arm shortened by an inch.

A prosecutor during Halstead's trial said Halstead "systematically, for eight hours, terrorized that family." One of the victims testified they "all joined hands in the basement and prayed together" after becoming convinced it was their "last day on Earth."

Halstead eventually decided to free his captives and call 911, although court records indicated he later told police the confrontation with the family and the shooting had been accidental.

Judge John J. Bowman in June 1986 sentenced Halstead to 45 years in prison after he was convicted of felony charges of home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed violence and unlawful restraint.

Halstead served just more than 21 years of that sentence in downstate Danville before being paroled. ..News Source.. By Bill Bird / Naperville Sun

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