An Illinois state trooper has been charged with sexual abuse and relieved of duty for allegedly sexually abusing at least two victims while he was working at Vandalia Community High School. 29-year-old James Dierkes was arrested on Friday, December 6, and has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault.
Two victims have accused Dierkes of making inappropriate sexual contact with them in 2016, when Dierkes was working at Vandalia Community High School in Vandalia.
The first victim contacted police to report that Dierkes had sexually assaulted her in 2016. This led to an investigation and police discovered another victim who made similar allegations of inappropriate sexual contact by Dierkes on multiple occasions.
Dierkes has been an Illinois state trooper since 2018. As of Friday, he was being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Were you sexually assaulted at school and now wondering, “Can I sue for being sexually abused at school?” continue reading for attorney commentary.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent represents sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits against sexual predators and negligent third parties. Here are some of Brian’s thoughts concerning the legal rights of police officer sexual assault victims and their families:
Police officers take an oath to protect and serve the public. While most police officers strive to live up to this oath, there are also untrustworthy police officers and even some sexual predators who work in law enforcement. When an officer sexually assaults a citizen, it’s important that the victim is aware of their legal rights.
In cases involving school police officers, it’s important to determine if the school had adequate protections for preventing sexual abuse of students by staff members. In some cases, school negligence opens the door for abuse to occur – such as failing to respond to previous complaints about the accused officer. When negligence is involved, victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a police officer, our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers are prepared to help you seek justice. Learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation.