Ex-suburban teacher charged in sex case released on bond

An ABC7 I-Team Report

ByChuck Goudie and Christine Tressel, Ross Weidner and Barb Markoff WLS logo
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Ex-suburban teacher charged in sex case released on bond
Ex-suburban teacher charged in sex case released on bond

After traveling from California and surrendering to authorities in Lake County, Illinois, former suburban junior high teacher and accused sexual exploiter Charles "Chuck" Ritz spent more than 24 hours behind bars waiting for his bond to be posted.

"We have no comment at this time, thank you very much..." said Ritz attorney Robert Deters as the men left Lake County jail on Tuesday evening. A man believed to be Ritz' brother had arrived a short time earlier to post 10% of the $100,000 bond set in the case.

The former teacher at Lake Bluff Junior High School turned himself in after being charged with public indecency/lewd exposure linked to a sexual misconduct case in 1985. He will be arraigned in late June.

Ritz had been a teacher in Lake Bluff for a decade before the charged incident. Several of his ex-students told the I-Team that they were sexually exploited by Ritz as teenagers. The men, now in their late 40's, decided to go public last November with what they say Ritz did to them.

The I-Team reported last fall that parents had made complaints to District 65 school officials in 1985 about the "highly questionable sexual behavior of Mr. Ritz." District officials moved to fire him, according to records obtained by ABC7, having determined there had been "unacceptable behavior" by the teacher. Nevertheless he was allowed to resign and even paid more than $22,000 on the way out of the door.

During the 30 years that followed, Ritz worked as a teacher in Southern California-where school officials have now started their own investigation of his conduct.