Fort's attorney asks judge to dismiss new charges

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - Saline County's former Chief Deputy, Todd Fort, returned to court Thursday.  His attorney, Bryan Drew, argued Fort's right to a speedy trial had been violated. He asked the judge dismiss the most recent charges filed by the state.

In March, Saline County State's Attorney Michael Henshaw charged Fort with seven more charges of criminal sexual assault. Henshaw says the new charges come after further investigation into the case, which involve the same victim.  The state alleges Fort had sexual contact with the victim when she was 16 years old.

On Thursday, Drew asked the court to dismiss charges 11 through 17. He told the judge those recent charges violate Fort's right to a speedy trial.

"My motion alleges basically the state knew about these alleged allegations, whether or not they are true or centrally had information to them, and just held on to these charges for whatever reason and under the case law and statue of Illinois they had 120 days once he is taken into custody to file these charges and they simply did not," Drew said Heartland News. "So they violated his speedy trial demand and for those reasons I think it's clear, that they, they should be dismissed."

Fort was re-arrested back in September. Court documents allege Fort violated a court order. State police originally arrested Fort last July.

Fort was also president of the Harrisburg School Board. He later resigned from that position.

Fort is behind bars in the Jackson County Jail on nearly two dozen charges which involve sexual assault and official misconduct.

Both sides are expected back in court April 13.

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