Jury trial date set for St. Louis man charged with kidnapping/sex abuse of Salem girl

Jury trial date set for St. Louis man charged with kidnapping/sex abuse of Salem girl

SALEM, IL — Attorneys agreed Tuesday in Marion County Court to a February 15 jury trial for a 35-year-old St. Louis man accused of kidnapping and sexual abuse of a 15-year-old Salem girl. Courtney Buffkins was initially arrested on a felony obstruction of justice charge for allegedly providing Salem police with a false name when they reportedly found him with the girl in a Salem hotel room.

After the girl agreed to talk to police, Buffkins was charged in a separate case with kidnapping and four incidents of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on five different visits to Salem that began in February 2020. His bond was then increased from $10,000 to $750,000. On Tuesday attorneys in the cases agreed to move forward to trial and that the second case – the one charging Buffkins with the more serious offenses of kidnapping and sexual abuse – would be tried first and the obstruction case would be tried at a later date.

He pleaded guilty in October to Class 4 felony criminal sexual abuse in Cumberland County, Illinois, in exchange for a Class 2 felony charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse being dismissed. He was scheduled to be sentenced in that case Tuesday but it appears that will be rescheduled. He’s also facing felony charges in Coles County, Illinois, for Class 1 criminal sexual assault and two counts Class 2 felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a juvenile victim 5 years or more younger than him. That case is scheduled for a February 22 hearing.

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