Opdyke Man Charged With Child Sex Offenses Waives Jury Trial Right, Will See Bench Trial

(MT. VERNON, IL) — A 28-year-old Opdyke man charged with multiple child sex offenses waived his right Friday to a jury trial and instead agreed to have his case tried by Judge Barry Vaughan. On Wednesday attorneys in the case against Garrett McElveen had indicated they were ready to move to jury trial and had confirmed July 11 to start the trial. However, on Friday the defense filed a motion to vacate the jury trial setting, which was granted against the objection of the state. The case was then scheduled for an August 15 bench trial with the delay attributed to the defense. The bench trial is expected to last three days. Judge Vaughan had found in a previous hearing that a video interview with the alleged child victim and the Amy Center will be admitted as evidence, saying the statements were made in recent time to the incidents, that the questions posed to the minor child were not leading or suggestive but were open ended. He also ruled the circumstances of the statement and the videotaping of the statements lends itself to the trustworthiness of the statements. McElveen was indicted in January 2016 on 11 Class X felony counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and on Class 4 felony count of sexual exploitation of a child. McElveen remains in the Jefferson County jail with bail set at $300,000.