Catholic school teacher charged with child sex crimes didn't fulfill employment requirement: diocese

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- A former suburban Catholic school teacher who was fired after he was charged with child sex crimes did not fulfill St. Joseph Catholic School's employment requirements for their teachers, officials said Friday.

In a statement, the Diocese of Joliet said they confirmed that while Hylka was at the Lockport school he only had a substitute teaching license, obtained in January 2021, and was not enrolled in a teacher preparation program, which is required to teach full time.

Diocese officials said St. Joseph's principal Lynne Scheffler has been placed on immediate administrative leave while there is an investigation.

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Hylka is charged with child grooming and other felonies after a Snapchat video surfaced. A cell phone camera was rolling as police say Hylka showed up to a Joliet McDonald's under the impression he was meeting a teenage boy for sex.

At a heated meeting at St. Joseph Catholic School in Lockport Monday night, parents found out that this is not the first time Hylka has been investigated for child sex crime allegations.

According to a statement from the Diocese of Joliet, Hylka was on paid administrative leave for two weeks in January. The decision came after officials said someone contacted St. Joseph's School saying Hylka had reportedly groomed a teen student in the past.

The allegations stemmed from a Tik Tok post about alleged inappropriate behavior between a teacher and a student.

Officials said they reached out to the teen who posted that Tik Tok video, but he did not want to comment to the Diocese. So, the school allowed Hylka back into the classroom.

The Diocese said that the January investigation was kept confidential because it was a personnel matter and the allegations in the Tik Tok video could not be clearly linked to Hylka.

RELATED | Joliet Catholic school teacher fired, charged with child grooming is hospitalized, police say

Hylka remains hospitalized. His lawyer will not comment on the case, but said he will turn himself in to police once he is released.

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