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Solicitation of sex cases for ex-Sandwich mayor, others delayed

OTTAWA — The court proceedings of former Sandwich Mayor Richard A. “Rick” Olson on charges of soliciting sex from a woman he thought was a prostitute has been continued into July.

Olson, 66, Sandwich, was charged along with eight other men as the result of a sting operation conducted by the LaSalle County Sheriff’s office in March.

Olson made his first court appearance Friday morning where court proceedings were continued to 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 10.

Olson was a longtime police officer who had served as Sandwich’s police chief for 16 years. He was elected mayor in 2013 and was in the middle of his second term when he resigned shortly after charges were made against him.

Also charged in the operation was Illinois Valley Community Hospital’s Vice President of Operations and Physician Services James G. Schaefer, 53, of Peru, and a Putnam County public defender Roger C. Bolin, 65, Hennepin.

Others charged with solicitation of a sexual act as a result of the operation include Raul Barajas, 40, Peru; Dustin A. Meredith, 29, Streator; Joseph P. Hanley, 57, Earlville; Wiley M. Sawyer, 18, Waterman; Richard Peradotti, 55, Peru; and Alphonso T. Thompson, 33, Streator.

Meredith plead guilty Friday morning, which resulted in a $500 fine.

In addition to the soliciting charge, Bolin was also charged with battery.

Schaefer’s case was continued to 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, and Bolin’s case was previously continued to 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 26.

The LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office used a female informant posing as a prostitute for most of the sting operation. Websites were used to set up meetings at hotels in Ottawa and Peru.

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