Court appearance for ex-Lake Bluff teacher 32 years in the making

ByBy: Chuck Goudie, Ross Weidner, Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Monday, May 15, 2017
Court appearance for ex-Lake Bluff teacher 32 years in the making
Former Lake Bluff teacher Charles T. "Chuck" Ritz surrendered to authorities Monday on a public indecency charge.

LAKE BLUFF, Ill. (WLS) -- Former Lake Bluff junior high teacher Charles T. "Chuck" Ritz surrendered to Lake County, Illinois authorities on Monday on a public indecency charge.

Ritz, 66, was the subject of numerous I-Team reports beginning last November following allegations by several former students that he had sexually exploited them in the early to mid-1980s.

A judge set his bond at $100,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with children. Arraignment is set for June 22 at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan.

Ritz was being held Monday afternoon at the Lake County Jail and had not yet posted bail. He was represented in court by attorney Robert Deters. The Round Lake Beach lawyer declined to offer any comments or answer questions about the case.

The former Illinois school teacher moved to southern California shortly after District 65 school district officials learned of sexual misconduct allegations against him in 1985. Despite moves by the school board to fire Ritz 32 years ago for "unacceptable behavior," he was allowed to resign and even paid $22,000 on his way out the door.

He began a second teaching career in Orange County, Calif., where district officials say they have opened an investigation of his conduct at the upscale La Habra High School. Fullerton school district officials have hired an "investigative special counsel" to look at the Ritz case.

Late last year when the I-Team attempted to speak with Ritz at his home in Santa Ana he declined comment and closed his front door on our news crew.

Ritz's "self-surrender" in Lake County on Monday means that no extradition will be necessary, and Lake Bluff officers won't have to travel to California to arrest him.

Under the terms of his bond, he is allowed to return to California or go to Wisconsin, where a relative is believed to live.