Sterling police looking for suspect in sex assault

Phillip Dunn has a history of DUI-related felony convictions

Phillip A. Dunn

STERLING – Police are asking the public’s help in locating a man they say is wanted in connection with a sexual assault of an adult in August.

Phillip Dunn, 38, of Sterling, is charged in Whiteside County Court with aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault, Detective Clay Hadley said in a news release.

Details of the assault were not provided, and the charging documents were not yet public because there is an active warrant for Dunn’s arrest in this and a previous case.

Dunn also was charged Nov. 29, 2021, with aggravated DUI, fourth offense, and driving on a suspended license, third offense, both felonies. He faces three to seven years if convicted of the DUI and one to four years for the suspended license.

He posted $150 of his $1,500 bond the next day, and subsequently did not appear at a hearing on Jan. 25, 2022, when his bond was increased to $20,000 and a warrant for his arrest was issued, court records show.

Dunn was arrested and appeared in custody on March 3, and was freed on March 7 after posting $2,000 cash.

He once again failed to appear at a March 29 hearing, and his bail was upped to $30,000.

Dunn, formerly of Rock Falls, also has several felony convictions in Lee and Whiteside counties, according to court records.

He was sentenced to 2½ years of probation for a Feb. 15, 2005 aggravated battery, violated the terms of his release by driving with a license that was suspended because of an aggravated DUI, and on Aug. 1, 2007, was sentenced to two years with the Illinois Department of Corrections for the battery and 1½ years for the suspended license.

A robbery charge was dismissed per his plea agreement in the battery case.

On Aug. 24, 2011, he was sentenced to 2½ years of probation for DUI/suspended license; probation was revoked on May 16, 2014, and he again was sentenced to IDOC for 1½ years.

On Nov. 16, 2012, Dunn was charged in Lee County Court with his third aggravated DUI; he pleaded guilty on Sept. 5, 2013, and was sentenced to 2½ years of probation. Another aggravated DUI charge and a driving on a revoked license charge were dismissed, per a plea agreement.

In July 2019, after years of either failing to pay his Lee County fines or paying them sporadically, Dunn’s case was sent to a collection agency, court records show.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.