BROWNSTOWN, MI — An Oak Lawn man convicted of exposing himself to a group of Mt. Greenwood children in 2013 was arrested this past weekend when he drove to Michigan to meet a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be an FBI agent, according to a federal complaint. Daniel Vorberg, 37, is facing a federal felony charge of attempted enticement of a minor in Michigan.
While out on parole for the 2013 public indecency conviction, Vorberg was arrested again in June 2015 when an Oak Lawn police officer claimed that he saw Vorberg parked behind a daycare center fondling himself while watching toddlers playing. Vorberg told police he was applying lotion to himself while waiting for a doctor’s appointment in an office next door to the daycare center. After awaiting trial in Cook County Jail for a year, he was found not guilty in 2016 during a bench trial. Vorberg was let off with a stern warning from Cook County Judge Kerry Kennedy.
Federal agents from the FBI’s Detroit field office launched an investigation last December, when a mother complained to Brownstown, Michigan, police that she caught her 13-year-old daughter trying to sneak out of the house past midnight to meet an adult man she met online, the complaint alleges. The family dogs woke her up before her daughter was able to go outside to meet “Jacob.” Brownstown police said texts sent to the 13-year-old’s cell phone revealed a number with a 708 area code that was traced to Vorberg’s phone.
Police obtained a search warrant in January for Vorberg’s phone records, according to the complaint. This past July, the FBI executed another search warrant for vehicle records registered to Vorberg’s Oak Lawn address in the 5000 block of 101st Street. The warrant revealed a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck registered to Vorberg, federal agents said.
Last Thursday, Oct. 24, an FBI agent, posing as a 13-year-old girl, sent a “WYD” (“what you doing?”) text message to Vorberg’s phone number, the complaint said. After responding that he was getting ready for work, the FBI said the undercover agent asked Vorberg if his name was “Ben,” claiming they had previously met in a chatroom.
Vorberg allegedly texted back that his name was “Jacob” and asked the girl to send him a picture. The FBI agent texted a non-sexual photo to Vorberg of what appeared to be a 13-year-old girl, the complaint stated. Vorberg is said to have responded, “I’d remember the naughty ones.” Federal agents said Vorberg texted back a photo of himself, to which the undercover agent responded, “You’re not Ben, you’re a grown man. I’m only 13.”
Throughout the day, Vorberg and the “girl” texted back and forth, the complaint said. Vorberg reportedly told the federal agent working under cover that he had driven to Michigan before to meet another 13-year-old girl but “her parents caught her trying to sneak out.” After more exchanges of photos, Vorberg allegedly told the girl that she should “def take that picture with the shirt off.”
The FBI said the conversation turned sexual when Vorberg began asking about her sexual experience and offering to perform oral sex on her. He is also said to have told the girl that he lived “four hours away” and they should meet.
On Oct. 25, after increasingly sexual text conversations in which the “girl” told Vorberg she was barely 5-feet-tall, Vorberg expressed how he always wanted a “tiny young girl,” the complaint said. After expressing concern about the law, the undercover agent told Vorberg that “we don’t have to do it at all if you want.” Vorberg is alleged to have responded, “oh we are doing it.”
At approximately 6:40 p.m. Vorberg sent a text to the undercover agent stating “I’m so horny for you rn [right now],” according to the FBI. Vorberg set out to meet who he thought was an eighth-grade girl at a park in Ecourse, Michigan, the FBI said, driving through the night and updating her on his progress through Indiana and Michigan. According to the complaint, Vorberg sent photos of what he was wearing and his odometer, showing him driving at speeds of up to 100mph.
Members of the FBI’s Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force, Michigan State Police and Brownstown police set up surveillance in the park. Around 12:20 a.m., a Chevy Silverado truck matching Vorberg’s vehicle, pulled up across the street from the park entrance. The undercover agent received a text message moments later stating, “I’m here,” followed by a smiley face emoji, according to the FBI.
Police conducted a traffic stop on the Silverado a few blocks away from the park. According to complaint, police found condoms and a box cutter in Vorberg’s truck. Lying in plain view was Vorberg’s iPhone. The undercover agent called Vorberg’s phone, which rang inside the truck, federal agents said. The phone also purportedly showed the last text message sent to Vorberg’s phone. Vorberg was taken to the Brownstown police station.
While at the police station, Vorberg was allowed to call his mother in Oak Lawn, where police said he was overheard giving her the password to his iPhone and telling her to “wipe it clean.”
Vorberg’s arrest record in Cook County dates back to 2004, when he was accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, court records noted. In 2009, Vorberg was charged with child abduction, kidnapping and indecent exposure when police said he tried to lure three 11-year-old Oak Lawn girls to his vehicle as they were walking to school. The first trial resulted in a hung jury, and Vorberg was acquitted in a retrial in March 2011.
“I am so relieved to hear that the [Michigan] girl was unharmed,” Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury said. “I hope Vorberg never has an opportunity to harm a child again. It’s about time our courts consider the rights of the public and victims and lock up those who intend to hurt our children. This should have never happened.”
An angry Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) said he’d be willing to drive to Michigan to testify at any future trial of Vorberg.
“For the past ten years on the Southwest Side, law enforcement has repeatedly arrested him on multiple charges,” the Chicago alderman said. “Several of us have been in court multiple times on behalf of our communities for this predator Dan Vorberg. We’ve been waiting and I’m relieved that the FBI is now involved.”
At the time of his sentencing for public indecency in 2014, the Cook County prosecutor said that a “crack in the law” did not require Vorberg to register as a child sex offender, because Vorberg did not meet “a child sex offender in definition.”
Vorberg was scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday afternoon in Michigan.