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Next pretrial set for Dierkes

Another pretrial has been set for the former teacher and Illinois State Police officer who is charged with having sex with two students.
Polinske said in July that his client had received an initial plea offer from the office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison, and he told Judge Kimberly K. Koester on Tuesday that he had sent a counter offer to Morrison.
He said that he sent the counter offer “almost six weeks ago,” but that he had not received a response.
Assistant State’s Attorney David Sternau told Koester that he knew nothing about that offer.
Koester spoke to the attorneys about the speedy trial status in the case. “I would suggest everybody take a look at it.”
Under Illinois law, a person has the right to be tried within 120 days of being held in jail.
Dierkes has been in Fayette County Jail since being arrested in December 2019 on charges alleging that he had sex with two of his students while a teacher at the Okaw Area Vocational Center.
Dierkes, 30, has been charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and 11 counts of criminal sexual assault.
Criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13-17 by a person in a supervisory position is a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse by a person of trust is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The allegations involving one of his former students allege that Dierkes committed sexual acts between Aug. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. The time period for those allegations involving the other former student is Nov. 1, 2017, and Sept. 28, 2019.
Dierkes, of Donnellson, was initially jailed at $1 million bond, and his bond was increased to $1.5 million after allegations involving a second former student were filed by Morrison’s office. Judge Kevin Parker later consolidated the bond in the two cases and lowered the bond to $1 million.
During a pretrial hearing in February, Parker granted a motion to modify his bond conditions to allow Dierkes to have supervised video visitations with his two minor children.
Dierkes was employed as an art teacher at the Okaw Area Vocational Center from 2012-18, and he also coached at the junior high and high school. He resigned from his teaching and coaching positions in August 2018.
Dierkes was employed by the state police in June 2018. According to online records, he graduated from the Illinois State Police academy in December 2018 and completed field training in May 2019.

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