Guerin College Prep assistant principal arrested for alleged sexual abuse, school officials say

RIVER GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- An administrator at a west suburban Catholic high school was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing a student, school officials confirmed.

The individual, who is an assistant principal and music director, has not yet been charged. The 34-year-old male staffer had been at the school for six years.

While the school is in River Grove, Chicago police arrested the suspect because the alleged incident happened in Chicago.

The administrator at Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove was put on administrative leave after school officials learned of the accusations last month, said Steve Baldwin, Guerin president.

The school then emailed the parents of the 400 students enrolled at the school, Baldwin said. The email read, in part: "We are taking this situation very seriously. As soon as we were made aware of these allegations ... was placed on administrative leave. We are cooperating with the authorities, including DCFS and the Chicago Police Department."

Officials said the alleged abuse did not occur at the school and there is no indication that more than one student was involved. A parent told ABC7 that the student involved was a 17-year-old boy and that another student witnessed the incident.

A student who said he's had a class with the teacher accused of sexually abusing a student said he finds the allegations hard to believe.

"When you walked into his office, you could just sit there and talk to him for hours and hours and hours if he let you. And not once would you ever feel uncomfortable," said a sophomore at Guerin College Prep, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"Kids around the school are talking about it constantly and it's just a big mess," the student said.

He says other students have been talking about the situation and sending text messages - some defending the teacher, others the alleged victim - who may have been part of a cultural club the teacher was leading.

Baldwin said student safety is a top priority and that all staffers are background checked and required to adhere to strict rules of conduct.

The Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement that they are aware of the case and cooperating with the investigation.
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