Former Schaumburg High teacher charged with sexually assaulting student in 2001
Bail was set at $50,000 Wednesday for a former Schaumburg High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student in 2001, police said.
Ronald L. Williams, 53, of Barrington faces a charge of criminal sexual assault stemming from the allegations that surfaced in June, when the former student contacted Schaumburg police, authorities said.
Cook County prosecutors said the assault began in May 2001 and continued through January 2002, while Williams, then 36, was in a position of authority over the student.
During that time, Williams and the student engaged in sexual activities in empty classrooms, in a science lab, at Williams' Palatine apartment and at Palatine hotels, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Ryan DeGroot said.
During the summer of 2001, Williams admitted to a fellow teacher he was in a relationship with the student, DeGroot said. The colleague informed a school counselor, DeGroot said, adding that students and school personnel reported Williams "appeared to be spending an inappropriate amount of time" with the girl in and out of school. An investigation ensued during which the student and Williams denied having an inappropriate or romantic relationship, DeGroot said.
The former student, now 34, lives out of state.
In July 2002, Williams' therapist alerted the Department of Children and Family Services after Williams -- during a session -- disclosed a romantic relationship with a female student.
During a subsequent police investigation, Williams admitted the sexual relationship but said it began after the girl turned 18 and had graduated, DeGroot said.
In a statement released Wednesday, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 officials say DCFS, school officials and Schaumburg police investigated "suspicions about a relationship" in 2002.
"No findings of wrongdoing were discovered to have taken place during the period of the student's enrollment at the time of the initial investigation," the statement reads. "The teacher resigned in August of 2002."
"Additional information not disclosed during the initial investigation has now been reported to the Schaumburg Police Department and District 211 officials have been working with police officials surrounding this new information," the statement adds.
The former student came forward this year after she learned Williams might be "involved in a church which would potentially allow (him) to access young individuals," DeGroot said.
She told police she was in love with Williams at the time and would have done anything to protect him, DeGroot said.
Williams has no criminal background, according to authorities. If convicted of the non-probationable, felony, he faces up to 15 years in prison. He next appears in court on Oct. 18.
After resigning his teaching position, Williams went into the home remodeling business, said his attorney, Matt Fakhoury.
Fakhoury described the sex as consensual and said Williams and the former student dated for four years before an amicable breakup.
"We don't feel these charges are justified. ... The court will be fair and his innocence will be justified," he said.