Former Southwestern school board president faces child sex charges


by Chris Stanford / News 4

Posted on August 4, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 5 at 9:32 AM

( -  Rodney Bailey is considered a prominent member of his community but now the former school board member and high school coach faces multiple child sex charges in Jersey County.

Bailey was a boy’s basketball coach at Southwestern High School in Piasa, IL last season and last year was the district's Board of Education President.  The Jersey County State's Attorney has filed aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child charges against Bailey connected to alleged incidents that occurred in 1997. 

Prosecutors believe Bailey sexually abused a child younger than 13.

The school district called parents Monday informing them of the charges and also said Bailey is no longer serving the school district in any capacity.  District Superintendent Brad Skertich said school leaders had no knowledge of the allegations until the charges against Bailey were filed.  Skertich also said Bailey was not a district employee when the alleged acts took place.

Along with serving on the Southwestern school board and coaching, Bailey is also a dentist.

"I’ve known him for the last several years, he’s a good family man, business man, just never would’ve believed it," said George Puskar, a patient of Bailey's.

Jersey County State's Attorney Ben Goetten is prosecuting the former coach.

"I know he was a prominent member of the community and in his church, and we’re gonna treat him like we treat everyone else," said Goetten.

Goetten praised the alleged victim for coming forward with his story 17 years later and encouraged other possible victims to come forward.

Bailey resigned from the school board in 2013 and from coaching in April, before Illinois State Police began investigating him.

Bailey turned himself in Monday, posted bail, and was released.

He is due in court August 19th.

Messages left for Bailey to comment on the charges were not immediately returned.