Saline County chief deputy stripped of position

by Heartland News

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - The Saline County Sheriff has stripped Todd Fort of his title as chief deputy.  He is also on unpaid administrative leave.

On Thursday the 43-year-old walked into a Saline County courtroom for a bond reduction hearing.  Currently fort is jailed on a $250,000 bond.

To get out, he must pay 10% of that amount.

Fort's attorney Bryan Drew asked the court to reduce bond to$40,000.  The defense called Fort's sister to the stand.

She spoke about the family's financial challenge to come up with the current bail money. But said it would be possible under a reduced bond.

"We thought in the particular instance with who my client is, not that he should be treated differently but because he's been a law abiding citizen his entire life and still yet has just been charged and hasn't been convicted of anything that the court ought to lower that especially since he was a minor child that he is responsible for," Drew said.

Drew says Fort's child is currently with its mother.

Still the judge said the bond is set at the appropriate amount due to the severity of the charges and denied the reduction.

Drew says they'll just have to move forward.  That includes Fort providing DNA evidence to the state.

Drew says they worked out the order in which it will be taken.  A date for DNA collection has not been set at this time.

Fort is charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault, Class 1 felony, and four counts of official misconduct, Class 3 felony.

According to court documents, Fort allegedly committed sexual acts with a 17-year old female.

Saline County State's Attorney Mike Henshaw alleges Fort was working and held a position of authority when the alleged sexual acts took place.

Fort is expected back in court the middle of August.

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