State trooper relieved of duty, charged with sex abuse

James Dierkes – Photo Illinois State Police

VANDALIA (AP)- A state trooper has been relieved of duty and charged with sexual assault in connection with incidents alleged to have occurred when he worked at a southern Illinois high school. Illinois State Police say 29-year-old James Dierkes of Greenville was arrested Friday on aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. Two victims have alleged inappropriate sexual contact on multiple occasions in 2016 during Dierkes’ time at Vandalia Community High School in Vandalia. Dierkes has been with the state police since 2018. He was jailed Friday on a $1 million bond. The Associated Press was unable Friday to determine if Dierkes has an attorney.