By TESA CULLI
MT. VERNON — Former Woodlawn Village Board member Jerry Lee Langa has entered a plea of not guilty on charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
Langa, of the 200 block of Park Street in Woodlawn, was arrested on Sept. 21 by the Illinois State Police on the charge, and is in the Jefferson County Justice Center on $250,000 bond.
Tuesday, Langa, through his public defender, Bob Verhines, waived his rights to a preliminary hearing and arraignment and entered the not guilty plea. A jury trial has been set in the case for Jan. 13, 2009.
Langa is accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 on Sept. 6. The investigation in the case is being conducted by the Illinois State Police, and a special prosecutor has been appointed, Kevin Kakac of Wayne County.
Verhines has filed a motion to reduce bail in the case, and the motion will be heard at a later date. A pretrial conference has been set for Nov. 18.
Since his arrest, Langa has resigned from the Woodlawn Village Board, and his resignation was accepted by the board last night. He was appointed to the position in May, and had previously intended to run to retain the seat during the April 2009 elections.
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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