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updated: 9/3/2014 5:31 AM

Cops: 2 more possible victims in teacher sex abuse case come forward

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  • Michael R. Vucic

    Michael R. Vucic


Lake County authorities say they are now investigating whether a Gavin South Middle School teacher sexually abused up to three girls.

An arrest warrant was issued last week for Michael R. Vucic, 41, of the 100 block of East Laurel Avenue in Lake Forest, in connection with what authorities say was his sexual assault of a student. He's charged in the warrant with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and five counts of criminal sexual assault.

Since the arrest warrant for Vucic was issued and became public Friday, Aug. 29, two more possible victims have approached the Lake County sheriff's office, Sgt. Sara Balmes told the Daily Herald. Balmes said the girls are former students in the school system based in unincorporated Ingleside near Fox Lake.

Authorities continued their international manhunt for Vucic on Tuesday.

Balmes said sheriff's police have received confirmation from Interpol that Vucic, traveling on a U.S. passport, boarded an Air Berlin flight from O'Hare International Airport to Germany on Aug. 26. Interpol is an international police organization with 190 member countries.

"We understand he has family in Croatia," Balmes said.

Gavin Elementary District 37 Superintendent John Ahlemeyer said in a letter to parents last week that authorities contacted school officials about the accusations against Vucic on the same day police said he went to Germany.

Ahlemeyer, who couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, wrote that Vucic wasn't at work when police contacted District 37.

Police said Vucic is accused of attacking a girl under age 13, who told her grandparents she had sexual contact several times with the instructor in 2012. The girl, who reported the abuse Aug. 25, was a Gavin South student at the time, according to authorities.

Authorities said Vucic attacked the girl several times during an unspecified period of time. Police said they believe the sexual contact occurred at the school.

Balmes said Vucic has family in Lake Forest "who have not been overly cooperative" with investigators. Vucic has been a Gavin teacher for 18 years, police said.

In another letter to parents issued Tuesday, Ahlemeyer said the school community remained "shocked" that a District 37 teacher is accused of inappropriate contact with a former pupil.

"The sense of betrayal that someone we entrusted for so many years with the education, safety and well-being of our students is extremely hurtful," Ahlemeyer stated. "This is indeed a very sad time for the students, faculty, parents and the community."

He reiterated how he understands parents may be frustrated with unanswered questions, but said information must come from law enforcement and not the school district. Ahlemeyer said a team of social workers from Gavin and surrounding districts is available "to support those in need."

Anyone with information about Vucic is asked to call sheriff's police at (847) 549-5200.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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