- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois judge is criticizing two of his peers after they voted to approve a second trial for a Pekin man accused of sexually assaulting a family member.

Third District Appellate Court Judge Daniel Schmidt was outvoted 2-1 and another trial was ordered for James Lercher. The two other justices determined in the February ruling that Lercher didn’t get a fair trial because the presiding judge erred.

In his dissent of the new trial order, Schmidt says victims deserve justice and protection from unnecessary retrials.

Lercher was convicted of criminal sexual assault in August 2011 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He’s accused of assaulting a 14-year-old female victim for about six months in 2009.

The Pekin Daily Times (https://bit.ly/12JUvun ) reports Lercher is scheduled to appear in court later this week. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.

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Information from: Pekin Daily Times, https://www.pekintimes.com

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