Former District 76 teacher accused of abusing student told to take plea deal or go to trial
Lake County prosecutors told a former Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 teacher she has until Sept. 17 to accept a plea deal for molesting a student in 2010 or her case will go to trial.
The ultimatum came Monday after the trial of former West Oak Middle School teacher Nicole R. Jacobsen, now 43, of Barrington, was delayed again. The trial has been delayed multiple times since she was charged four years ago.
This delay was because defense attorney Greg Nikitas was unable to attend the hearing. Nikitas sent another attorney in his place.
Assistant State's Attorney Victor O'Block told Judge George Strickland the state would rescind the plea deal offered to Jacobsen if she does not accept it when the two sides return to court Sept. 17. Strickland also agreed to delay the trial until Sept. 29.
"This has been going on too long," O'Block said after the hearing.
Jacobsen faces counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse after authorities said she molested a 14-year-old student in a classroom in May 2010.
She remains free from jail after she posted the required 10 percent of her $50,000 bail,
The allegation surfaced when a family member of the victim found a message from Jacobsen on the victim's Facebook page, authorities said. The family member took the message to school officials, who called police, authorities said.
Jacobsen initially denied sending the message, but later admitted to sexually abusing the teen, authorities said.
She was suspended, then fired by the district after an investigation into the allegations, authorities said.
Officials would not comment on the details of the plea deal. Defense attorneys previously said it would not include jail time.