Charles Von Holten of Fenton, Ill., faces eight charges after being accused of sexually assaulting two of his grandchildren in 2018. Families have been protesting a potential plea deal for Von Holten for months.
The original plea hearing for Von Holten was scheduled for Wednesday, June 8. The family of Von Holten told us June 7 that the plea deal hearing was off. They have been demonstrating to try to keep it from happening.
In Wednesday’s hearing, the judge motioned to reschedule the plea date. She also set a jury trial date for this case.
The mother of one of those minors, Megan Dornbusch, says the fight to block the plea deal has been a long one.
“When the proper people were in authority, that could’ve taken care of the problem. The trauma these kids have endured and now seeing it down to a plea agreement is hurtful.”
After two rallies and immense support from allies, family and social media, the family’s motion to extend the plea hearing was approved.
Von Holten’s defense attorney says they approved this extension.
“We had no objection to them having more time to communicate so we didn’t object to the motion to continue,” said the attorney, James Mertes.
The plea date is now scheduled for Aug. 12th at 10:30 a.m. with a jury trial date on Nov. 15th at 8:30 a.m. at Whiteside County Courthouse.