Illinois pastor's molestation trial delayed

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

JONESBORO, ILL. -- A Southern Illinois judge has delayed the molestation trial of a former pastor who once guided fundraising efforts to restore the Bald Knob Cross of Peace in Alto Pass, Ill.

The Rev. Bill Vandergraph, 73, is accused of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13. He was arrested in June 2010 on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a 4-year-old between January and April of last year.

His trial was originally scheduled for Dec. 12, but has been pushed to Jan. 9 in Union County Circuit Court in Jonesboro, according to court documents.

Vandergraph faces charges of predatory criminal sexual assault -- a felony carrying a potential sentence of six to 60 years in prison -- and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, each carrying potential sentences of 14 years.

Vandergraph had been the president of Friends of the Cross, an organization that has raised more than $500,000 to restore the cross, but resigned when he was arrested. The cross was five months away from completing its physical restoration when Vandergraph was arrested. The last panel was put on the cross in November 2010.

Vandergraph's arrest has not hurt fundraising efforts, Bald Knob Cross of Peace officials said in September.

Vandergraph is free on bond.

Pertinent address:

3630 Bald Knob Road, Alto Pass, IL

Jonesboro, IL

Map of pertinent addresses

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