Hearing Held in Dierkes Case


Published on October 27 2021 4:09 pm
Last Updated on October 27 2021 4:09 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A pretrial hearing was held Wednesday in Fayette County Circuit Court in the case of James Dierkes.

The 31-year-old Dierkes faces more than a dozen counts of criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse. It's alleged that the incidents occurred while Dierkes worked at Okaw Area Vocational Center in Vandalia in 2016.

Dierkes later left the employment of the Vandalia school district to join the Illinois State Police. Once Dierkes was charged, the State Police fired him. 

Wednesday's hearing dealt with a defense motion to suppress statements. Judge Allan Lolie listened to more than five hours of the interview that was the source of the statement prior to the hearing, and heard testimony from two Illinois State Police troopers involved in the investigation. Judge Lolie admitted the interview tape into evidence, but also gave both parties 10 days to submit additional case law before he rules on whether the statement should be suppressed.

The trial is scheduled to begin on January 18, with a final pretrial hearing on January 3.