Mt. Vernon Register-News

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September 23, 2008

Woodlawn Board member charged with predatory criminal sexual assault

By TESA CULLI

tesa.culli@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — A member of the Woodlawn Village Board has been arrested and charged with predatory criminal sexual assault.

Jerry Lee Langa, 18, of the 200 block of Park Street in Woodlawn was arrested at 1:05 a.m. Monday by the Illinois State Police, which is conducting the investigation in the case. Bond has been set at $250,000.

Langa is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 on Sept. 6. If Langa is able to post bond, special conditions of his release are that he have no contact with the victim or his family or to go near the family’s residence. Langa remains in the Jefferson County Justice Center.

Kevin Kakac of Wayne County has been appointed to act as special prosecutor in the case. Langa was assigned public defender Bob Verhines to represent him.

Langa was appointed to the Woodlawn Village Board in May, filling a position vacated when Brian Spangler was appointed as interim mayor of the town and then-mayor Beth Hassler resigned due to moving outside the village limits. Langa has previously stated he would be running to retain the seat during the April 2009 elections.

Arraignment for Langa has been set for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 21.

Predatory criminal sexual assault is a Class X felony, which is punishable by six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections; three years mandatory supervised release; a fine of up to $25,000, and no chance for periodic imprisonment, probation or conditional discharge.

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