Lawsuit alleges abuse by former District 220 teacher

Lawsuit seeks $25M in damages, says crimes occurred at schools

A former special education student in Barrington Area Unit School District 220 is suing the district seeking $25 million in damages over allegations a teacher sexually abused him on more than 30 occasions in the early 2000s.

The suit, filed Monday in Cook County court, alleges the abuse took place from 2002 to 2004, when the student was 12 to 14 years old.

The teacher accused no longer is employed by the school district and did not face criminal charges in connection with the accusations.

District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said the district has not been served with the lawsuit and he could not comment.

According to a statement from the former student's attorney, the abuse included showing the student pornography, genital touching and intercourse. Every instance of abuse took place at a District 220 school, the suit alleges.

At least one other school employee was aware of the abuse, the lawsuit alleges.

The student's parents complained to school officials that the student's behavior had changed, and he was afraid to go to school, attorneys said.

They attributed his behavior to the teacher and asked that their son be moved to a different classroom. However, no action was taken by the school district, the suit alleges.

The student's attorney, Blake Horwitz, said it is not unusual for accusations to surface long after abuse occurred.

"It frequently takes time for the person to come to a place where they can deal with situations like these," he said. "It was important for my client that this be heard."

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