Teacher at Mundelein school charged with molesting student

  • Nicole R. Jacobsen

    Nicole R. Jacobsen

 
 
Updated 5/24/2010 9:52 AM

A teacher at West Oak Middle School near Mundelein was ordered held on $50,000 bond Sunday after being charged with molesting a student.

Nicole R. Jacobsen, 39, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Scheller said.

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Jacobsen, of the 8800 block of McKinley Drive in Barrington, was charged Saturday after being interviewed by detectives of the Lake County sheriff's office, Scheller said.

He said Jacobsen, an eighth-grade teacher at the school, molested the boy, an eighth-grade student, in a classroom at the school following a May 13 volleyball game.

The incident came to light, Scheller said, when the boy's 17-year-old brother found a message from Jacobsen on his brother's Facebook page.

"The message was sent from the defendant's Facebook page," Scheller said. "It said 'I love you and can't wait to see you.'"

The older boy took a printout of the message to school officials, Scheller said, who confronted Jacobsen with the information on Tuesday.

Jacobsen denied sending the message and claimed someone must have hacked into her Facebook account, Scheller said, which she shut down that evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

School officials contacted the sheriff's office after learning of the exchange about a week ago, Diamond Lake District 76 board President Keith Loeffler said.

Scheller said Jacobsen admitted to authorities she had sent the message and had molested the boy.

The District 76 board held a special closed-door meeting this past Tuesday to discuss the allegations and placed Jacobsen on leave effective the next day, Loeffler said. The board now will move to fire her, he said.

"it goes without saying that we're protecting the kid and keeping his best interests (in mind," Loeffler said.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for June 8, but another special meeting could be held before then to deal with Jacobsen, Loeffler said.

"We're always extremely proud of all our teachers and all our administrators, and it's really shocking when something like (this) happens," Loeffler said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The district's crisis response team has been notified of the incident. A letter from Superintendent Roger Prosise could go home to students' parents today, Loeffler said.

Associate Judge George Strickland barred Jacobsen from having any contact with the boy, his family or the school if she is able to post the $5,000 she needs for bond.

Scheller said Jacobsen is due to appear in court again May 26 and faces a sentence of up to seven years in prison but would also be eligible for probation if convicted.

• Daily Herald Staff Writer Russell Lissau contributed to this report.