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home : news : north central illinois   May 27, 2016

7/31/2013 11:54:00 PM
Peru man faces up to seven years after pleading to sex charge

By Tom Collins
and Katlyn Rumbold
NewsTribune staff

PRINCETON — A Peru man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony sex charge involving an 8-year-old boy and could face up to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced next month.
Ryan G. Luecke, 31, was scheduled for a bench trial Wednesday on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony with a base sentencing range of 3-7 years in prison, and with the possibility of probation and jail time in lieu of prison.
The state alleged that Luecke, then recreation coordinator at Bureau County Metro Center, had an 8-year-old boy fondle him over his clothing some time between May 1 and Aug. 24, 2012.
Minutes after Wednesday’s trial was supposed to begin, however, attorneys in the case emerged from closed-door conference and announced a partial agreement that averted a bench trial.
Luecke entered a blind plea to aggravated criminal sexual abuse with one concession from the state: He will not be face a state-mandated fine based on when the offense occurred. The state conceded the date of the offense is uncertain.
Bureau County state’s attorney Pat Herrmann said had the case gone to trial he was prepared to call the boy, now 9, who was attending an athletic camp, reported “inappropriate touching” and then described the contact in greater detail when questioned by police. The contact “didn’t last very long.”
Hermann further noted Luecke admitted to the fondling when questioned by police.
Luecke will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Sept. 10. He will have an opportunity then to address Judge Marc Bernabei. He remains free on bond.
Herrmann, Luecke and Peru defense attorney John Fisher all deferred comment until sentencing.

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