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updated: 3/20/2013 4:36 PM

Wheaton North teacher charged with sex abuse

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  • Edwin Klemm

      Edwin Klemm

 

A longtime English teacher and former coach of the Wheaton North High School speech team had more than a dozen sexual encounters with a female student, including at school and at his home in St. Charles, prosecutors said.

Edwin Klemm, 43, of the 1100 block of Howard Street, was jailed on $600,000 bail after being charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault. A teacher at Wheaton North for the past 13 years, he faces a minimum 44 years in prison if convicted of all charges, authorities said.

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In bond court Wednesday, Assistant State's Attorney Ann Celine O'Hallaren said the parents of the victim, who is now 18, recently came forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual contact after finding a love letter Klemm had written the girl. She said the relationship took place between February and November 2011 when the victim was 16 and 17 and a junior and senior at Wheaton North.

The pair had sexual encounters at the school, including in a classroom across from Klemm's, the teacher's home, a parking garage and in Klemm's vehicle in various locations across DuPage County, O'Hallaren said.

About a dozen encounters happened in Klemm's house when his wife and daughter were gone, and possibly once while his daughter was home, according to prosecutors. The two also met in a parking lot before school, authorities said.

"He violated her at a time when she was between 16 and 17 years of age; the facts are egregious," O'Hallaren said.

She said the victim and defendant both gave statements to investigators.

Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 officials said in a written release Wednesday that they were informed late Tuesday that Klemm had been arrested in Wheaton.

They said he has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation and will not return to work until "the issue is resolved by authorities and District 200 has been appraised of the outcome of the investigation. At that time District 200 will review the teacher's employment status."

District officials said guidance counselors and staff members will be available for any students who need assistance and a social worker will sit in on Klemm's classes "as long as necessary to support any student concerns."

Officials said they do not believe any other former or current students were involved.

Klemm resigned as speech team coach in May 2011, and authorities said he had no prior criminal record. His next court date is April 15 in front of Judge Kathryn Creswell.

Klemm would have to post $60,000 to be released from the jail. Prosecutors said they might file additional charges.

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