Marmion Academy monk accused of sexually abusing student

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- A former monk who teaches at Marmion Academy has been charged after prosecutors said he had sexual contact with a student.

Aurora police received a report in September 2021 from a former student at Marmion Academy who said he had sexual contact with the monk.

"We received a report of a former student at Marmion Academy who had reported that he was sexually assaulted by a monk there," said Paris Lewbel, spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department.

According to police, Joseph J. Charron, known at Marmion as Brother Andre, repeatedly assaulted and pursued non-consensual sex with a student at Marmion Academy.

Charron was a teacher at the school and police say he lived on campus at Benedictine Abbey.

Investigators said Brother Andre continued to force sex upon the alleged victim even after the student graduated. In total, police said the abuse spanned 15 years.

Marmion Academy placed Charron on administrative leave, and he was barred from the school campus and other ministerial functions upon being notified of the allegations. Marmion Abbey and Marmion Academy are cooperating with the police investigation.

On Wednesday, police announced Charron has been charged with three charges of criminal sexual force, three charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (sexual conduct by a person in position of authority of a victim under 18) and two charges of criminal sexual abuse (non-consensual sexual conduct).

"We talked to a number of people to be able to build the facts and evidence in this case to be able to bring these multiple felony charges," Lewbel said.

The 66-year-old monk turned himself into police Wednesday morning.

Marmion Abbey is conducting its own internal investigation.

Charron surrendered to authorities without incident Wednesday.

Detectives said they don't know if Charron had sexual contact with other students from Marmion Academy.

In a statement, Marmion Abbey said:

"Marmion Abbey is aware of the charges filed against Br. André Charron, OSB. We have been, and will remain, fully cooperative with the authorities on this matter. We pray for all who have been impacted by this and we pray for the healing of those involved and for all the members of our Marmion family.

"When the allegations were first brought to our attention, we immediately contacted the Aurora Police Department. In compliance with our process and procedures, Br. Charron was placed on immediate leave from the Academy with no access to school grounds.

"Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not at liberty to comment or answer any questions at this time and ask that the privacy of those involved be respected."

Investigators are asking other alleged victims in the public or school community to reach out.
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