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updated: 3/23/2011 9:56 PM

Naperville North counselor denies sex charges, free to vacation in Mexico

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  • John Carbonaro

    John Carbonaro


A Naperville North High School counselor facing charges he sexually abused a 16-year-old female student can leave the country for a family vacation in Mexico, a judge ruled Wednesday over a prosecutor's objection.

John Carbonaro, 33, made his first DuPage County court appearance since his indictment last week on eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. His attorney, Nick Lagattuta, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Carbonaro also received permission from Judge Blanche Hill Fawell to vacation in Cancun next week for spring break. His bond conditions otherwise prohibit him from leaving the state or being around minors other than his own two children.

Lagattuta said the family vacation had been planned since before his client's arrest, and that other adults would supervise Carbonaro as he interacts with nieces and nephews. But the request drew an objection from Assistant State's Attorney Mike Pawl, who called the trip "a luxury, not a necessity."

"What we're talking about here is a spring break vacation, and we know what that attracts," Pawl said. "He's facing very serious charges."

Naperville Unit District 203 put Carbonaro on paid leave from his job as a Naperville North counselor and girls softball and golf coach in February after he was preliminarily charged. A lifelong Illinois resident with no prior criminal history, Carbonaro has worked for the district for five years and is tenured, his attorney said.

"Mr. Carbonaro has been a model citizen, an exemplary employee, coach, husband and father," Lagattuta said.

Pawl told Fawell that both Carbonaro and the alleged victim, who occasionally baby-sat the defendant's children, made statements implicating the counselor after the school district learned of the abuse from a third party. He said the alleged victim did not come forward with the accusations.

Lagattuta denied his client said anything incriminating.

"That's not true," he told the judge.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred at Carbonaro's Warrenville home. Lagattuta said the alleged victim developed a crush on his client after he counseled her at school and coached her softball team.

"He wholeheartedly denies the allegations," he said.

Tension mounted Wednesday after Carbonaro stepped away from the bench; his wife and mother stood up, turned and glared at the alleged victim's family, who were seated elsewhere in the courtroom.

Carbonaro returns to court May 9.