Metro-East News

Charges in O’Fallon sexual assault case reduced to battery

Prosecutors dismissed two charges accusing a Belleville man of sexually assaulting a person unable to give consent, according to St. Clair County court records. The dismissal was part of a plea bargain, approved by the victim.

In August, the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office charged the man, Jeffrey A. Bird, with two felonies — criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. Bird, 27, pleaded not guilty to both charges. According to court records, Bird was accused of having sexual contact with a 26-year-old who “was unable to give knowing consent” in the early-morning hours of July 21 in O’Fallon.

As part of the plea negotiations, Bird pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, said Steven Sallerson, first assistant to St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.

“This was the course that the victim preferred in this case,” Kelly said in an emailed statement.

Judge Robert Haida sentenced Bird to 45 days in jail, 24 months of probation and 100 hours of community service in addition to ordering Bird to pay $877 in fines and costs.

Bird’s attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.