Fairview Heights deacon charged with felony sex abuse

SHILOH, Ill. – A Fairview Heights church official faces allegations of sexually abusing a minor.

St. Clair County Assistant State's Attorney Julie Elliot charged 47-year-old Jeffrey Strait with four felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor. Strait is described as a church deacon who works with children at First Baptist Church in Fairview Heights.

According to Shiloh police, a person who was abused as a minor filed a police report. During the course of investigation, four other victims came forward.

Court documents state Strait put his hand on the penis of the first victim, who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the incident.

Police say none of the acts were done at the church, and no other church officials knew of the crimes.

Strait is held in St. Clair County Jail on $500,000 bond.

Anyone with further information about the case is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Kyle Bade or Det. Jessie Phillips at 618-632-9047.


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