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updated: 8/30/2014 10:42 AM

Warrant issued for Gavin South teacher charged with sex crimes

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  • Michael R. Vucic

      Michael R. Vucic

 
 

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Gavin South Middle School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student.

Michael R. Vucic, 41, of the 100 block of East Laurel Avenue in Lake Forest, is charged in the warrant with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and five counts of criminal sexual assault.

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The student was identified as a girl under the age of 13 who told her grandparents she had sexual contact several times with Vucic in 2012, Lake County sheriff's police said in a news release. She was a student at the school at the time, Sgt. Sara Balmes told the Daily Herald.

The girl reported the crimes Monday, police said. The warrant was issued Friday.

Lake County sheriff's detective Wendell Russell said there were several incidents that occurred over a period of time, but he said he could not be more specific about them because it might reveal the identity of the victim.

He did say, however, "We believe that the incidents occurred at the school."

Authorities believe Vucic fled to Germany because he has relatives there.

Russell said he probably boarded a flight on Tuesday.

Vucic, Russell said, was in his 18th year of teaching at the school.

In a letter to parents posted on the Gavin Elementary District 37 website, Superintendent John Ahlemeyer said the girl no longer attends the Ingleside school.

The sheriff's police contacted district administrators about the allegations Tuesday, Ahlemeyer said in the letter.

Vucic was not at school that day and has since been banned from school property, Ahlemeyer wrote.

Any other information about the crimes will come from police, not the district, Ahlemeyer wrote.

Ahlemeyer couldn't be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Police believe there may be more victims.

However, Russell said, none have come forward yet.

"The information got out today, so we don't know if there are any other victims at this time," he said.

But Russell said he and the Children's Advocacy Center, where he is assigned, will be investigating the possibility of other victims and conducting interviews with other victims, if there are any.

Russell said it does not appear that Vucic has any prior record.

Russell also said Vucic is the only suspect.

Anyone with information can call police at (847) 549-5200.

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