Truck driver accused of victimizing underaged girls from Union County

UNION COUNTY, Ill. (WSIL) — A truck driver who speaks fluent Russian and possibly some German is accused of targeting and grooming young girls across the nation. He’s accused of victimizing at least three underage girls from Union County by using social media apps like Snapchat.

26-year-old, Dmitriy Seleznev is wanted by Illinois State Police, Jonesboro Police and the Union County States Attorney’s Office. Union County States Attorney Daniel Klingemann said Seleznev is a truck driver who is known to pick his victims online through social media apps like snapchat.

He then allegedly drives to their state as he’s accused of doing with three underaged girls in Union County. “In this particular case, the defendant has used that snapchat map to track down some of our victims, to show up where they are at unexpectedly, unannounced, simply by opening snapchat showing they are right here,” said Klingemann. Seleznev is charged with five counts of child pornography, indecent solicitation of a minor, two counts of traveling to meet a minor and two counts of grooming.

Klingemann said, since the defendant is a truck driver who travels from state to state it’s even more difficult to pin him. “He seems to be a nationwide thing, he has ties to other states. We do believe and it’s kind of personal belief, but that he has other victims out there may even be victims in the southern Illinois area,” said the Union County States Attorney.

Payton Needham, a mother from Dongola said she’s heard about Seleznev’s activities through Facebook. “It was scary, very surprising that it was happening so close to home, that it was right there in our backyards,” said Needham. She added, she has the don’t talk to strangers conversation with her 4-year-old, but feels it’s time to go deeper. “She’s such a young age, I really haven’t had to have that conversation with her, but because it’s happening so close to.

It really opened my eyes and started opening that conversation as well,” said Needham.

Which is exactly the Union County’s States Attorney’s goal, getting parents to talk to their children about predators using social media to harm them.