Former Aledo Police Officer Bonynge pleads not guilty

Cala Smoldt/Staff Reporter

In Mercer County Court this morning, Jan. 14, Steven Bonynge plead not guilty to allegations of aggravated criminal sexual abuse/weapon. Bonynge resigned from the Aledo Police Department last week, Jan. 5. He stated in his letter of resignation, "I hearby resign from my position with the Aledo Police Department. I do with knowledge of my imminent release on January 6, 2015. I am being forced out and my resignation is involuntary considering the position of the Department and the City."

Attorney William Gullberg, representing Bonynge said he filed a, "jury demand." Special Prosecutor Michael Vujovich is appointed to the case in place of Mercer County State's Attorney Greg McHugh. A Preliminary Hearing was set for March 3 at 11 a.m. pending Vujovich's availability. Bonynge waived his right to Preliminary Hearing within 60 days of charges filed.

A joint motion between the State and Gullberg requests a single judge to be assigned the case.Judge Kutsunis advised them a decision would be made by presiding Judge Zimmer.

Attorney Gullberg requested information be turned over to him from a subpoena on the Aledo Police Department.

State's Attorney McHugh explained outside the courtroom that his office automatically submits all police reports and files pertaining to the case to the defense attorney he said, "Some defense attorney's play it safe," by requesting the files in front of the judge.

Gullberg also filed a motion to keep a sealed file containing sensitive information out of the court file. The judge ordered the documentation to remain sealed.