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updated: 11/14/2014 1:20 PM

Two teachers charged with not reporting sex abuse released on bail

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  • Michael Vucic

    Michael Vucic

 
 

Two of three teachers facing misdemeanor charges for failing to report suspected child abuse by a former colleague have posted bail and have been released from custody, authorities said.

April Courtney, 34, of Wauconda, and Michael Lanners, 38, of Lake Villa, have each posted the $5,000 required to be released from Lake County jail, said Cynthia Vargas, spokeswoman for the Lake County State's Attorney's Office.

John Keehan, 40, of Elgin, has not yet been found and remains wanted on a $50,000 arrest warrant, Vargas said.

Arrest warrants were issued for all three on Thursday for not reporting suspected child abuse, a class A misdemeanor. The charge is the highest charge possible in this case, Vargas said.

The charges were filed by the Lake County State's Attorney's Office because authorities believe all three suspected, but did not report, that a student at Gavin South Middle School was being abused by teacher Michael Vucic.

A $1 million arrest warrant has been issued for Vucic, 41, of Lake Forest. He is charged with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and five counts of criminal sexual assault alleging he had sexual relations with a middle-school student under the age of 13.

Vucic, who taught social studies at Gavin for 18 years before accusations surfaced in 2012, fled to Europe in August, police said. He was arrested Sept. 15 in Bosnia-Herzegovina and remains in custody there, fighting extradition to the U.S.

Authorities said the student told her grandparents she had sexual contact several times with Vucic in 2012. Police are still investigating, but say the girl no longer attends the school.

Lanners, Courtney and Keehan were all teachers at Gavin South Middle School in Ingleside, although Lanners has been teaching in Mundelein Elementary District 75 since 2002. Authorities have not explained how Lanners knew or suspected that Vucic was abusing a student, since he hadn't worked at Gavin for at least 10 years.

Mundelein District 75 put Lanners on unpaid administrative leave in September upon being told about the investigation. District 75 Superintendent Andy Henrikson confirmed he is still on unpaid administrative leave pending board action on his employment status.

Keehan and Courtney were terminated from District 37 earlier this year.

As educators, Vargas said, all teachers must report any suspicions of abuse or knowledge of abuse against any minor. She said a fourth individual was interviewed by authorities for possible charges, but there was insufficient evidence.

Gavin Superintendent John Ahlemeyer was not available for comment early Friday morning.

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