Allegations against this teacher were reported as early as 2019 when he still worked in the Chicago public schools. The teacher was accused of inappropriately touching the buttocks of a female student who then reported the incident to her mother and the two went to the principal. The behavior occurred on more than one occasion. The girl’s brother reported similar conduct as did two of his classmates.
Prosecutors did pursue misdemeanor charges against the teacher who was later found not guilty in a bench trial. The teacher continued to teach Spanish to third graders when he was arrested for the sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old in Indiana.
According to the allegations, he arranged to meet a 12-year-old boy who he spoke to online and met the boy at a hotel where he molested the boy and recorded the encounter. After the incident, police recovered the teacher’s phone where they found another incident of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. The other victim was an Illinois resident who was 15 at the time of the assault.
The teacher was given a 50-year sentence for the assaults, production of child pornography, and being in a position of trust when he committed the crimes against children. He was charged in Indiana since that is where the primary victim was located and where the crime occurred. It was not until 2021 that the teacher was suspended without pay.
How Did This Happen?
If there were reports of sexual abuse against the teacher in 2019, then how did he end up teaching third graders in the Chicago public school district? This is going to be a difficult question for the Chicago public schools to answer. In 2019, the teacher was brought before the court on misdemeanor charges of sexual battery or unlawful touching. The conduct was problematic enough to be reported by several students. The matter went to trial where a judge declined to convict the man. He then went back to the school he worked for.
Understand that school districts get sued all the time and the districts try to avoid this as much as possible. In a case like this, firing the teacher is tantamount to admitting the teacher did something wrong. If the teacher did something wrong, then the families can sue the district for employing a pedophile. That means the district loses money and draws negative attention to itself. So, once the teacher was found not guilty of the charges, the district sighed relief and allowed the teacher to continue working. He was then caught sexually exploiting a minor child, and producing pornography from the abuse.
In other words, the district was more concerned with preventing lawsuits filed by angry parents than protecting children from a dangerous predator. Now, the district can face more lawsuits for failing to intercede when it had the chance.
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David Freidberg represents the interests of those charged with crimes in the Chicago area. Call today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your case immediately.