Chicago Public School teacher, Jason Gil, is being accused of having sex with one of his students, a 14-year-old girl. Gil has been charged with criminal sexual assault, solicitation of child pornography, solicitation to meet a child, and grooming. Gil is a part-time bilingual teacher at Waters Elementary School. He has currently been removed from his position.
According to the complaint, Gil was working at another Chicago school when the abuse occurred. The girl reported the abuse, and Gil was arrested by Skokie police.
Parents at Waters Elementary have signed a petition against the teacher urging the prosecutor not to cut him a deal. Parents are concerned that the prosecutor will let the teacher off easily. Over 150 parents have signed the petition.
Parents Overhear Prosecutor Discussing Plea
According to the petition, parents overheard the prosecutor discussing a plea deal with Gil’s defense attorney. Of course, the details of that deal were not made public. However, it is typical for a prosecutor to shave off some of the lesser charges when they think their case is good enough to withstand the scrutiny of a jury simply to avoid the cost of litigation.
Meanwhile, parents complain that CPS has kept them mostly in the dark concerning the progress of the trial. For obvious reasons, this can open up the Chicago Public School system to liability issues.
Abuse Lasted Over Two Years
The complaint against Gil states that he was a bilingual math teacher who helped the young woman he stands accused of abusing as a tutor. The tutoring became the excuse he needed to conduct the sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, Gil’s attorney is rightly concerned that the parents are attempting to try Gil in the court of public opinion before the initial phases of discovery have even been completed.
In a case like this, where the only evidence against the accused is the victim’s testimony, the only possible way to defend a client is by attacking the credibility of the victim. That being said, it is not always easy to attack the credibility of a 14-year-old abuse victim, even for attorneys who make a living defending those accused of criminal conduct in court.
In addition, Illinois has a rape shield law that limits what types of evidence defense attorneys can bring against victims in court. In cases in which it is a minor accusing an adult, attacking the credibility of the witness extends only so far as the truthfulness of their statements. In these cases, whether or not the minor consented to the act is irrelevant. The mere fact that the sexual contact occurred is enough to convict the defendant.
Attorneys must then find some motive for the complainant to lie. There are two options here. Defense attorneys can either allege that the complainant is confused over something that happened or that the complainant is straight out fabricated the story to be vindictive. In the case of a 14-year-old girl, the former is highly unlikely while the latter has the potential to inflame a jury or the court.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been accused of a major crime in Chicago, let David Freidberg, Attorney at Law manage your case. We will ensure that the prosecution proves every element of the charges against you. Call us at (312) 560-7100 to set up an appointment.
(image courtesy of Celia Ortega)