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Racine mayor arrested on child sex crimes charges

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Racine Mayor Gary Becker is free on bond while he awaits a court appearance set for this afternoon (Thursday) on possible sex charges.

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Becker was arrested Tuesday at the Brookfield Square mall, just west of Milwaukee. His sister-in-law posted a $165,000 cash bond late Wednesday afternoon.

No charges have been filed yet.

State Justice spokesman Bill Cosh says the exact allegations won't come out until the charges are filed.

Racine Police said they were tipped off a couple weeks ago to possible crimes involving the mayor. And to avoid conflicts, they passed the case on to the state.

Becker faces possible charges of child enticement, attempted sexual assault of a child, exposing a child to harmful materials, misconduct in office, possessing child pornography and using a computer for a child sex crime.

Cosh would not say if Becker was caught in an Internet sex sting, something fairly in common in Wisconsin in recent years.

Suspects assume they're chatting online with a minor and agree to meet someplace for sex, only to find the child is a police officer waiting to make an arrest.

Racine County District Attorney Mike Nieskes said he was still reviewing reports about the incident Wednesday.

Becker, 51, has been the mayor of Racine, Wisconsin's fifth-largest city, since 2003.

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