Van Houtte attorney says motion for mistrial is possible

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—The case involving former Rock Island County, Illinois State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez could open the door for a mistrial in the case that introduced Terronez to his victim.

Terronez pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to a minor.  As part of the plea agreement, he resigned his position as State’s Attorney, lost his pension and agreed to never seek public office again.

The minor to whom Terronez provided alcohol was at the center of a previous case he prosecuted.  In that case, United Township High School teacher Jason Van Houtte was accused of inappropriate contact with a female student who, at that time, was 15 years old.

Van Houtte was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.

Now an attorney representing Van Houtte says his client deserves a new trial.

“If he developed a relationship with the witness he should have disqualified himself,” said attorney Gerry Schick.

Schick said it is clear the prosecutor had a conflict and crossed the line.

Schick said he plans to pursue a post-conviction motion on behalf of his client, Jason Van Houtte.