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Former University of Illinois police officer from LeRoy charged with sex assault

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LeROY — The arrest of a former University of Illinois police officer on sexual assault charges followed an internal investigation by the department, which suspected "misuse of law enforcement resources."

On Wednesday, Illinois State Police said Jerald E. Sandage, 48, of LeRoy was named on warrants charging him with five counts of criminal sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual abuse, and two counts of intimidation. Sandage is lodged at the Piatt County jail. Bond for each warrant was set at $750,000, with 10% needing to be posted for release.

The most recent charges followed official misconduct charges filed in December after the UIPD investigation. Interim U of I Police Chief Matt Myrick said his department then turned over information about Sandage to Illinois State Police.

In a statement Wednesday, Myrick said the newest charges “are a direct result of that investigation. We will continue to assist with the investigation or court proceedings when called upon to do so by the independent agencies.”

“Throughout this process, UIPD has worked diligently to ensure that the investigation was handled properly and that Sandage did not have additional opportunities to put community members at risk," Myrick said. "His police authority had been revoked while the investigation was pending, and his employment with UIPD ended with his resignation on February 27.”

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Champaign County court documents say Sandage was charged in December with seven counts of official misconduct (obtaining personal advantage) related to incidents beginning in February 2017. The newspaper said he was accused of using police resources to target women.

Sandage posted bond Dec. 26 on those charges and pleaded not guilty on Jan. 16. A pre-trial conference is set for May 5. Bloomington attorney Stephanie Wong represents Sandage on those charges.

The public is encouraged to contact state police if they have information related to this or any other crimes at 815-844-1500, Ext. 2321 (tip line), 217-278-5004 (tip line) or at isp.dci.zone05@illinois.gov.


Photos: McLean County jail mugshots

Kelsey Watznauer contributed to this story.

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