Sentencing date set for Centralia man convicted in absentia of child sex assault

MARION COUNTY — A sentencing date was confirmed Wednesday in Marion County court for a 28-year-old Centralia man who was convicted in absentia when he failed to appear at trial for sexually assaulting a young girl.

Jerad Peoples
(Source: MCSO)

Jerad Peoples is scheduled to be sentenced April 19 for Class X felony predatory sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13.

Peoples had sought to have the conviction overturned, but the Fifth Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon has dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction and remanded the case back to Marion County for sentencing.

Peoples was convicted after he failed to appear at his August 2017 bench trial despite being advised previously that he could be tried in absentia if he failed to appear at trial.

Authorities reportedly discovered later that Peoples was in the hospital at the time, but due to his failure to appear at trial, a warrant had been issued for his arrest and the $25,000 cash bond he had posted early in the case was revoked.

He has remained in the Marion County Jail since that arrest.

A Class X felony is punishable by between 6 and 60 years in prison.