JONESBORO - Bill Vandergraph, an ex-pastor accused of sexually abusing a minor, has a new court date in Union County.

Vandergraph is now set to stand trial March 26, with a motion hearing Feb. 28.

Vandergraph, the 72-year-old former pastor of Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Alto Pass and former Union County school bus driver, was arrested in July 2010. He is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a 4-year-old child between January and April 2010.

Since early last year, the trial has been delayed over concerns about Vandergraph's mental fitness, caused by depression and possible signs of dementia. Psychiatrist Naeem A. Qureshi testified Vandergraph was fit to stand trial in a fitness hearing in April 2011.

On Dec. 12, Vandegraph's attorney, Allen James, said his client was confused about the charges against him and that Vandergraph has not provided any assistance in his own defense.

At that time, Judge Mark Boie asked for an update on Vandergraph's condition from Dr. Qureshi in January.

Union County States Attorney Tyler Edmonds said Vandergraph was still undergoing evaluation and any fitness issues would be dealt with at the Feb. 28 hearing.

Vandergraph faces charges of predatory criminal sexual assault - a Class X felony, carrying a potential sentence of six to 60 years in prison - and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony, each carrying potential sentences of 14 years.


On Twitter: @BrentStewartSI


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