Hammond teacher charged in sexting scandal

March 29, 2013 3:40:16 PM PDT
A northwest Indiana teacher was charged with having a sexual relationship with an underage student.

The victim's mother talked exclusively Thursday night on ABC7 News at 10.

Jon Erik Lilly is accused of having an improper relationship with one student and persuading other female students to send him nude photos.

The mother was in court Friday surrounded by friends and family members.

However, when Lily appeared in court, she was visibly shaken.

"I wanted to get up and grab him," Laura Gilliam said. "I really did. I wanted to curse. I wanted to yell at him."

The former Hammond Indiana Morton High School teacher appeared in court Friday morning for a probable cause and detention hearing. It was continued until next Thursday.

Lily is accused of requesting several underage female students from Morton High School to send sexually explicit photos to him by cell phone.

Lily's father walked out with his attorney.

"I was hired probably about an hour ago. I received a copy of the charging complaint and haven't had a chance to review it," said defense attorney Louis Felipe Sanchez.

Court records show the investigation started when a school administrator reported seeing a 17-year-old girl in Lily's classroom sitting between his legs.

The girl's mother also suspected her daughter was sexually active with the teacher.

She says at first the girl denied it and in February revealed a month-long sexual relationship existed.

"He has brainwashed my daughter," Gilliam said. "She will come around. She knows she has a loving, big family."

Thursday the school district of Hammond, Indiana, sent out letters to parents informing them that when they learned that a threat to that environment exists, immediate action is taken to ensure the safety of its students.

"Morton High School, you are as guilty as Eric Lily is!" Gilliam said. "How dare you allow this to happen to other girls? Shame, shame!"

Federal records show a search Lily's computer found hundreds of sexually explicit images including a number of underage female students.

Gilliam says her daughter is now 18 and just moved in with Lily at his home.

"I can't allow him to be on the streets to do this to somebody else's daughters. Please, please, my baby girl, call your mama," she said.

Gilliam says she will continue to come back to the courtroom as long as it takes and that she is in the process of talking to other girls and asking them to come forward.

She believes that they are close to getting them to come forward and she says when this is over she will go to Indianapolis to protest and demand that Morton High School be closed.