Abels & Annes

Sex abuse charges filed against former Christian school teacher in Chicago

A 34-year-old Naperville woman has been charged with sexually abusing four students while she was employed as a teacher at a Christian school on the Northwest Side, according to the Chicago Sun-Times and several other media outlets. She has been charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault.

A Cook County Judge set bail on Tuesday at $1.5 million. The defendant is to appear in court next on June 27.

The teacher’s brother, age 27, who was also employed at the school has been charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse.

The defendant teacher was employed as a teacher at Dayspring Christian Academy, which is located in the 5100 block of W. Fullerton Ave. She was employed there up until March of 2011, according to a spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. It is being alleged that she sexually assaulted three girls and a boy several years ago. The four children were all students and members of a church next door called the Daysping Church.

Chicago police officials are stating that the sexual abuse began in the late 1990s but was not reported until April, 2011. It is being alleged that the former teacher gave the minors alcohol and performed sexual acts on them in her home, in the children’s homes and in her car.

It Is being alleged that she had sexual intercourse with the male victim for about a year when he was between the ages of 15 and 16. At one point she babysat for him and his sister when their parents were out of town.

The abuse of one of the female victims started in 1998 when the girl was 15 years old. The defendant had taught her in the seventh and eighth grade. The abusive relationship lasted until 2001.

In 2003, when the teacher was age 26, she allegedly abused another 15-year-old girl while her parents were away. That sexually abusive relationship lasted until 2006.

She next allegedly abused a 14-year-old girl who was a church member and the teacher’s student in the sixth and eighth grades. The abuse lasted until March, 2007 when the victim’s family moved away.

The Academy where teacher was employed enrolls students from pre-K to 12th grade. School officials have made no comments regarding the allegations.

NBC news is reporting that a third person was questioned by police, but later released with no charges filed.

The Chicago Tribune is stating that the ages of victims were between 13 and 17. Further, they report that the defendant’s brother allegedly abused a student who is now age 23.

The teacher supposedly has no past criminal history. The defendant’s husband stated outside of court that his wife has had some psychological problems in the past, but recently started treating with a therapist.

The consequences of sexual abuse to a child can be devastating and last long into adulthood. There can be both emotional and psychological issues, and the abuse can cause negative behavioral changes at home and at school. Victims are more likely to suffer from depression, think about suicide, and become an alcohol and drug abuser. According to the federal government, over 40% of sex abuse victims are under the age of 18 and over 90% of child victims know the abuser.

Lawyers at our firm have become very familiar with the effects of sex abuse, as we currently represent several victims in lawsuits against the Chicago Archdiocese. Our firm also represents a student that was sexually abused by a suburban school bus driver, and a downstate teenager that was abused by a church employee.