SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- An Illinois State Trooper faces charges for sex crimes he was accused of committing while he worked at a high school.
Trooper James T. Dierkes, 29, of Greenville, Illinois, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
According to Illinois State Police, a victim recently told officers that Dierkes sexually assaulted her in 2016. The assault allegedly happened while Dierkes was employed with Vandalia Community High School in southern Illinois, prior to his employment with ISP.
The investigation then led to another victim who alleged she also had inappropriate sexual contact with Dierkes on multiple occasions.
Dierkes was taken into custody Friday and immediately relieved of duty, according to ISP.
“Illinois State Police Special Agents treated the victim’s allegations as credible and within hours of disclosure initiated an investigation leading to these charges,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “ISP agents are fiercely protective of brave crime victims and fiercely protective of the integrity of the Illinois State Police so we urge any victims to come forward.”
Dierkes had been employed with the ISP since June 2018.
ISP says it conducts lengthy, rigorous employment background checks during the application process for troopers. At the time of application, Dierkes' extensive background investigation included his employment at Vandalia Community High School and showed no evidence of criminal misconduct or activity.
Dierkes is being held at the Fayette County Jail on a $1 million bond. He is considered innocent unless proven guilty by the court of law.