DECATUR — Brian A. Thompson was found guilty Wednesday of three counts of the aggravated criminal sexual abuse in a series of incidents with teenage and preteen girls in his Oreana neighborhood.

Thompson, 49, was convicted after a three-day bench trial in Macon County Circuit Court before Judge Jeffrey Geisler. He also was found guilty of one count of solicitation to meet a child, but Geisler ruled one aggravated sexual abuse charge was not proven, and he found Thompson not guilty of one count of the indecent solicitation of a child.

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 25, and Thompson was ordered to undergo a sex offender evaluation prior to then. Thompson remains in the Macon County Jail without bond.

During the trial Thompson, through his public defender Thomas Wheeler, had tried to make the case that the children involved had been “very forward” in their relationship with him and what had happened hadn’t been his fault. Wheeler said Thompson denied “any inappropriate conduct.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz, through testimony, police evidence and the words of the children themselves convinced the judge to accept her view of Thompson: a sexual predator who preyed on kids he first befriended.

Kurtz said he was well known on the street on which he lived in Oreana, and many of the girls’ parents had been his friends. Kurtz said what started out as suggestive complimentary remarks to their daughters turned into Thompson having them perform sex acts on him and exposing them to pornography.

Evidence was heard that Thompson had watched one girl after crawling in through her bedroom window and had sent children pictures of his genitalia.

A sworn affidavit from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office said Thompson, who deputies found hiding in a neighbor’s crawl space when they went to arrest him on Aug. 21, confessed at the time to what he had been doing over several weeks.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid