Bement man jailed for sex-abuse allegation

MONTICELLO — A 63-year-old Bement man remained in the Piatt County Jail Wednesday, accused of sexually molesting a young girl.

Piatt County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mark Huckstep said deputies arrested Joseph J. Van Vleet at his home in the 300 block of West Wilson Street on Tuesday afternoon on a preliminary charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Huckstep said four days earlier, the Department of Children and Family Services had been notified by the girl's counselor, who is a mandated reporter, of her allegations that Van Vleet had sexually molested her on multiple occasions.

Associate Judge Rick Broch set bond Wednesday for Van Vleet at $25,000, meaning he'll have to post $2,500 cash to be released from jail.

Piatt County State's Attorney Dana Rhoades said she will file formal charges after she receives reports from the sheriff's office, which will likely be later this week.

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