Former pastor's probation may be revoked

By MAGGIE BORMAN , The Telegraph


CARROLLTON - A petition was filed this week in Greene County Circuit Court to revoke the probation of former Greene County pastor Jeffery D. Heberlein.

According to court documents filed Tuesday, Heberlein violated the terms of his probation by refusing to continue a polygraph test given on Dec. 5 at the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Science Laboratory in Springfield.

In a plea agreement, Heberlein, 43, was sentenced to four years of probation in November in exchange for his guilty plea to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a female minor. As part of the plea bargain, the state agreed not to ask for more than four years in prison.

Scott County Judge Lois Bell, who presided over the case, gave the defendant four years of supervised probation. The judge also ordered Heberlein to submit to regular polygraph exams at his own expense to monitor his adherence to conditions of probation and treatment, to verify his sexual history and to verify his version of the events in the sexual abuse of the minor.

In a statement from Fred Paoletti, the polygraph examiner conducting the exam, after he asked Heberlein four questions about Heberlein's actions with the minor girl, Heberlein refused to undergo the rest of the test.

"It is the opinion of the examiner, based on the polygraph records, that this subject is not telling the truth to the (four) questions," Paoletti wrote in his letter to Greene County State's Attorney Matthew Goetten. "It should be noted that this subject refused to undergo polygraph testing regarding his history of his sexual behavior. This subject stated that he had already discussed this with his private therapist and did not wish to discuss it further."

Heberlein, formerly of Carrollton, was arrested Aug. 10 on a Greene County warrant at his home in Plainville, in Adams County. The warrant alleged that Heberlein committed a sex act with a teenage girl in January 2005.

Heberlein formerly served as a minister at Mount Gilead Baptist Church and Berdan Baptist Church in Greene County.

A hearing on the revocation of Heberlein's probation is set for Jan. 24.