Motion to dismiss in Saline Township sexual battery cases set for December hearing

Amelia Flood Nov. 22, 2010, 12:17am


Another motion to dismiss has been filed by Saline Township in its fight against a series of sexual battery suits filed by women who claim a former official groped and harassed them.

Saline Township filed a notice setting the motion for hearing Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.

Plaintiffs Elizabeth Watkins, Melanie Hedlund, Jamie Miener, Laura Berry, Tara Reding, and Ailie Ritchie filed six suits against the township and its former supervisor Alvin Steiner alleging nearly identical claims earlier this year.

The plaintiffs claim that Steiner groped and touched them sexually when they came to the township seeking public aid.

The plaintiffs also contend that their rights under the Illinois Gender Violence Act and other civil rights were abused.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief.

Steiner resigned from the township last year.

The defendants deny the claims.

A copy of the motion to dismiss is not available in the case files.

The docket sheets in the suits indicate that the motion to dismiss was filed Nov. 17.

Notice of hearing was filed Nov. 15.

Saline Township had previously won the dismissal of a number of the plaintiffs' claims.

The plaintiffs then amended their complaints.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presides.

The cases have been consolidated for hearing purposes.

Thomas and Peter Maag represent all of the plaintiffs.

Lori Vanderlaan and others represent Saline Township.

Mark Weinheimer and others represent Steiner.

The cases are Madison case numbers 10-L-31, 10-L-145, 10-L-178, 10-L-219, 10-L-309, and 10-L-555.

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