Ex-North Chicago charged with patronizing prostitutes while on duty

A former north suburban police officer, who resigned last summer amid allegations of patronizing prostitutes while on duty, now faces criminal charges that could land him in prison for 5 years.

A Lake County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Ludwin W. Barreno, former North Chicago police officer, on felony charges of official misconduct and patronizing a prostitute, and a misdemeanor count of solicitation of a sexual act, according to the Lake County states attorney’s office.

Barreno, an 8-year veteran of the department, was not in custody as of late Wednesday afternoon, and a no-bond warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to state’s attorney’s spokesman Cynthia Vargas.

The nine-count indictment accuses Barreno, who resigned on June 28, with “soliciting and engaging in sexual acts for money while on duty,” a statement from prosecutors said.

“It is truly a disappointment when an officer of the law is charged criminally for breaking the very laws he was sworn to uphold,” North Chicago Police Chief Robert Wilson said in a statement.

“Upon learning of potential misconduct by the officer in question, the North Chicago Police Department opened an internal investigation to determine whether the officer violated any policies or general orders,” Wilson said. “The officer resigned in late June, before the internal investigation was completed.”

The meetings with prostitutes occurred in April and June of 2017 with two different individuals around 14th and Dugdale in North Chicago, prosecutors said.

If convicted of all charges, Barreno faces up to 5 years in prison, Vargas said.

“The North Chicago Police Department has no tolerance for officers who engage in any form of misconduct,” Wilson said. “That’s why it assisted Lake County prosecutors at every turn during the course of its investigation.”

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