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8 men including former mayor arrested for public indecency

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC) – Officials say eight men, including a former Mayor of Amboy, Ill., were arrested for public indecency after an investigation into complaints.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, 2016, members of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s TAC unit conducted an investigation in the local Winnebago County forest preserves. The investigation stemmed from complaints the forest preserve district received regarding sexual related incidents occurring within the preserves.

The preserves targeted included Kishwaukee Gorge Forest Preserve (4643 Blackhawk Road), Espenscheid Forest Preserve (4816 S. Perryville Road), Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve (6261 S. Mulford Road), and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve (5801 S. Perryville Road). The TAC unit arrested, charged and lodged the following persons in the Winnebago County Jail:

Former Amboy Mayor, Francis J. Mekeel, 62, of Amboy; Shawn P. Birnbaum, 40, of Rockford; Jonathan Garcia, 22, of Rockford; James C. Penning, 73, of Rockford; Richard E. Guffey, 71, of Rockford; Michael F. Hagemann, 61, of Rockford; Timothy R. Devlieger, 57, of Rockford; and John B. Luhman, 43, of Rockford, who was also charged with resisting arrest.