Dierkes Requests 402 Conference

James T. Dierkes

A former teacher and state trooper from Bond County charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, has requested a special session with a judge in Fayette County.

James T. Dierkes, age 30, will have a 402 conference on March 11 in Fayette County Circuit Court.

In the 402 conference, which is a negotiating tool, a judge will meet with the state and defense. Background information about the defendant will be presented in addition to information about what evidence and testimony might be presented if the case goes to trial.

The judge will then advise what sentence he would give if the defendant pleaded guilty. The defendant can then decide to pursue a plea deal or go to trial.

Dierkes was a teacher at the Okaw Vocational Center in Vandalia when the alleged crimes occurred. He has been charged with ten counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between August of 2016 and September of 2019. The alleged victims were between 13 and 18 at the time.

Dierkes was an Illinois State Trooper for one year before the charges were filed.

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