MARION COUNTY — Bail has been set at $250,000 for a 22-year-old Irvington man arrested over the weekend on charges of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
Centralia police arrested Steven Sanders following several weeks of investigation into allegations by a 12-year-old girl claiming Sanders sexually assaulted her while they were both staying at the home of friends in Centralia.
The girl claimed Sanders first forcibly kissed her while they were both watching TV at the home and after the others had gone to bed.
The girl says in the following weeks Sanders is accused of fondling the girl through her clothing against her will.
After the last incident, the girl filed a complaint with the Centralia Police Department, which led to the investigation that was completed with the assistance of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Amy Center.
Sanders was taken in Saturday for questioning. He denied anything happened between the two and that the alleged victim had been flirting with him. He was subsequently taken to the Marion County Jail, where he remains today.
Sanders was formally charged today in Marion County Court with Class X felony predatory criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13, and two counts Class 2 felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13.
He is next scheduled to appear in court August 4, for a first appearance with his court appointed attorney.