Lawsuit: District 300 moved students who complained of teacher now charged with abuse
A lawsuit seeking damages for a substitute teacher accused of molesting and assaulting 10 elementary students now argues that Dundee District 300 officials transferred children who complained about Carlos Bedoya's behavior to different classrooms and that he was wanted on an outstanding warrant when hired by the district.
Bedoya, 63, of the Lake in the Hills, was arrested and charged in July 2017 with sexually assaulting and molesting students at Golfview Elementary School, where he served as a substitute teacher.
After his arrest, more students came forward with details of abuse, and Kane County prosecutors filed more charges against Bedoya and successfully argued to a judge to increase his bail.
Two students sued the Algonquin-based District 300 and Golfview Principal Lindsay Sharp, arguing the officials were responsible for Bedoya's hiring and placing students at risk.
Defense attorneys defending the district and Sharp filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing the plaintiffs -- identified only as John and Jane Doe -- did not set forward facts to show "willful and wanton" conduct that allowed Bedoya to remain a teacher despite posing a threat to students.
"Plaintiff's complaint is fatally flawed because it relies on threadbare, conclusory allegations and is devoid of any underlying facts alleging that defendants engaged in willful and wanton conduct," wrote defense attorney Abad Lopez, who argued the Illinois Local Government and Governmental Tort Immunity Act bars claims unless conduct is "wanton and willful."
Attorneys for the Does argue in the lawsuit that Bedoya was hired despite not having a driver's license, state ID, passport or bachelor's degree. They say he also had an outstanding warrant.
The suit argues students who complained about Bedoya were reassigned to other rooms and argues Bedoya committed acts of abuse in the school library and his office; the initial lawsuit stated students were abused in a bathroom and in his class.
"Between April 2017 and May 2017, Bedoya's behaviors towards children were reported to District 300 and Sharp. Despite knowledge of Bedoya's inappropriate behaviors toward children, like the minor plaintiff, District 300 and Sharp failed to remove Bedoya's unsupervised access to children," the lawsuit argues.
The sides are next due in court on Oct. 11; at a brief court hearing last week, the two lawsuits were consolidated into one.
Bedoya is being held at the Kane County jail on $4.85 million bail, meaning he must post $485,000 bond to be released while the charges are pending.
If convicted, he faces a punishment of up to life in prison. He is next due in court on Oct. 30.