The trial involving a former Waukegan High School teacher charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student kicked off in Lake County court Tuesday.
However, a defense attorney for Brandon Brown, 31, of the 3000 block of Kathe Lane in Waukegan, said during opening statements that the female student had turned 18 before the sexual contact took place. Brown is charged with criminal sexual assault.
"The evidence is going to prove through inconsistent statements and phone records that their meeting took place after (the victim's) birthday," attorney Alan Jones said.
Officials from Waukegan Unit District 60 notified police in December 2012 of the discovery that a possible sexual relationship took place between Brown and the student.
Police interviewed the victim and Brown, who taught physical education at the district's Brookside Campus. Brown admitted to the sexual relationship in a voluntary statement, authorities said.
The victim has since graduated from the high school, officials said.
Brown, who worked for District 60 for eight years, was initially suspended from teaching pending the outcome of the case. District officials said they could not comment on the particulars of Brown's employment, except to say he was no longer with the district as of October 2013.
Brown has been free from jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $50,000 bail.
Brown rejected a plea agreement Tuesday before going to a bench trial.
The minimum sentence for Brown is four years in prison, authorities said, while the maximum sentence 15 years behind bars.