VanHoutte attorney asks court to overturn conviction

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—The attorney for Jason Van Houtte filed a motion to have his client freed from prison.

Van Houtte, a former United Township teacher and coach, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges connected to his sexual relationship with a student.  His sentence stipulated he must serve at least 10 of those 12 years.

Van Houtte’s attorney, William G. “Gerry” Schick, said previously that he thought his client deserved a new trial.

A motion supporting his claim was filed in Rock Island County Circuit Court.

Former Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to a minor in connection with his admission of inappropriate contact.  The minor involved was the same victim as in the Van Houtte case.

Schick’s motion says, because of his relationship with the Van Houtte victim, Terronez should have disqualified himself from prosecuting Van Houtte.

Schick’s motion asks the court to overturn Van Houtte’s conviction based on the prosecutor’s “clear” conflict.