GLENCOE, Ill. - An acclaimed former school teacher from Glencoe has been accused by a former student of sexually molesting him more than 45 years ago.
"After the lights were out and I was lying in bed, the door crept open and Marvin Martin walked into the room and he started molesting me," recalled Dave Stroud, now 55 years old. "He came over the top of the bunk bed, I was in the top, and he did what he did, standing beside the bed."
Teacher Marvin Martin, 81, and now retired, denies he molested Stroud. Martin maintains he wasn't a pedophile and says he just "loved children."
"I have no memories of him at all," Martin said of Stroud during an interview with the ABC7 I-Team. "I don't know what happened, what he thought happened. I know what he thought happened, but I don't know what happened. But I do know myself and I know I wouldn't have done the things he said I did."
Stroud, who now lives in Colorado, said Martin molested him in his bedroom while his parents were on a business trip. Stroud's mother told the I-Team she had trusted Martin to stay with her three boys that week.
On Thursday night Stroud, his mother and several former students showed up at the Glencoe school board meeting and told board members there should be a full and thorough investigation of the former teacher's conduct and the allegations.
"Marvin Martin is a serial predator," Stroud told school board members. He said the retired teacher "built his position of authority and revere in order to take advantage of Glencoe's most vulnerable citizens in the most horrific manner."
Board president Gary Ruben praised them for coming forward and said the board is "trying to do the right thing," not trying to hide and considering what they'll do next.
In a press release last month, Glencoe school district officials referred to an investigation in 2012 and 2014- both a result of Stroud's accusation. The board says it recently received two calls with related allegations of a sexual nature and several emails with additional information. According to the district, the allegations indicate the incidents did not occur on school grounds.
Stroud is pressing the school board and Glencoe police to do more, inspired he says by the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case in 2011.
In an April post on Facebook, Stroud confronted Martin, calling him a pedophile. Martin, who retired from teaching in 1996 after 38 years, responded. "You call me a pedophile," Martin wrote. "The word means 'child lover.' It is true that I loved children which is why I served them for over 50 years of my life."
During his long teaching career in Glencoe, Martin took students on more than 30 trips, produced a number of plays and wrote dozens of books.
He now lives in Kenosha where he told the I-Team that Stroud's accusations are ruining his life.
"I can't comprehend his hatred. I've never felt that kind of hatred and I can't understand anyone who would be so full of hate as he seems to be," Martin said.
Glencoe public safety officials told the I-Team they could not comment or release any records relating to the allegations.
Dave Stroud says he wants Martin to pay a price for what he did to him as a 9 or 10-year-old.
"I'm doing this because he needs to be exposed for what he's done," Stroud said.