BELLEVILLE - St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ronald Duebbert pleaded not guilty of sexual abuse and other charges earlier today.

Visiting Judge Michael McHaney of Marion County set jury trial for June 18, 2018.

He released Duebbert on $25,000 recognizance bond, and ordered the state to provide discovery in seven days.

Belleville police investigated claims made in recent months by a former client of Duebbert - Carlos Rodriguez - over an incident alleged to have taken place last year prior to Duebbert's election. 

On Nov. 6, Duebbert was charged with two criminal sexual abuse felonies and two misdemeanors - battery and solicitation of a sexual act.  

Police relied on an affidavit of Rodriguez, who swore Duebbert grabbed his penis through his underwear.

Rodriguez also swore that Duebbert said he would knock $100 off his bill if he performed oral sex.

He swore that Duebbert brought up a person paying $20,000 to say he touched him.

Attorney Scott Rosenblum of Clayton, Mo. represents Duebbert in association with Dan Fultz of Springfield.

Rosenblum moved for discovery on Nov. 21, and he opened a door that could connect the pending case to a criminal investigation that special prosecutors have pursued against Duebbert all year.

Rosenblum requested "any record of prior criminal arrests and convictions of the defendant."

Earlier this year, special prosecutors were picked to investigate whether Duebbert obstructed justice in relation to the murder investigation of Carl Silas of Belleville.

David Fields, the murder suspect who has been jailed all year, had lived with Duebbert following his release from prison last year, weeks before the general election.  

The alleged obstruction of justice charges against Duebbert in part relate to an approximate two hour discrepancy in what Duebbert stated to police he last had contact with Fields the night before the murder.

Grand jurors heard matters involving Duebbert on July 14, but as yet they have issued no indictment.

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