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Local

Former Whiteside County probation officer charged

Prosecutors: he solicited oral sex from a man he supervised

MORRISON – A former Whiteside County probation officer has been accused of soliciting oral sex from a man who was under his probational supervision.

Prosecutors say that in late October, Dale Merema, 44, of Chadwick, entered the apartment of a 27-year-old male probationer, locked the door, and asked the man if he would perform the act on him.

During a previous interview, Kevin Johnson, director of court services for Whiteside County, declined to comment, but did say that Merema is no longer employed by the county.

Johnson was unavailable for comment Monday.

An investigation that started late last year was given to a special prosecutor.

Whiteside County State’s Attorney Trish Joyce said in a previous interview that, because the matter involved a county employee, she had a conflict of interest in handling the case herself, so she asked that a special prosecutor be appointed. The court agreed in November.

Tom Brown, appellate prosecutor for the state’s attorney, was appointed. Calls to Brown have not been returned.

Merema, who was arraigned March 14, is charged with attempting custodial sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. The charges carry fines of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively.

He will next appear in court June 2.

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