Former Carpentersville substitute teacher guilty of sex assault of student
After deliberating about two hours Friday, a Kane County jury convicted a former Carpentersville elementary school substitute teacher of sexually assaulting a student, now 12, in several locations from August 2015 through June 2016.
Carlos A. Bedoya, 64, of the Lake in the Hills was arrested and charged in summer 2017. Overall, he is accused of assaulting and abusing 10 students while serving as a substitute at Golfview Elementary School.
Bedoya was convicted of eight counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. During the four-day trial this week, Kane County prosecutors presented evidence that Bedoya assaulted the boy at a school office, during an after-school program in the library, at the Spring Hill Mall and at Bedoya's house.
Prosecutors also called two other Golfview students to testify as to how Bedoya tried to or did abuse them as well.
"Those acts are no coincidence," Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Lori Schmidt told jurors Friday during closing arguments, adding the boys did not know each other. "They are all boys. They are all at the same school. They are all of similar age. What they have in common is that the defendant sexually abused all of them."
Schmidt said Bedoya acted as a substitute teacher and soccer coach to serve as a facade while he had unfettered access to his victims. Schmidt argued Bedoya used gifts of Pokeman cards and special pencils to groom his victim and warned him not to tell anyone or the boy would get in trouble.
During the trial, Bedoya took the stand in his own defense and denied he assaulted the boy. He stated he never was alone with a student during his time as a teacher at Golfview.
Francisco Botto, one of Beyoda's defense attorneys, argued there was no physical evidence of any assault and the testimony of the three boys changed as they retold it, suggesting they had been "coached."
"The only evidence they have is finger-pointing," said Botto, who stressed investigators at the Kane County Child Advocacy Center failed to find other witnesses to corroborate the allegations. "We want justice based on facts, not innuendo, finger-pointing and emotions."
Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Seberger said the testimony of the 12-year-old was enough to prove Bedoya guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but jurors had more than that.
"None of these three kids would have the sexual knowledge to come in and tell you the things they told you," Seberger said. "These crimes are crimes that happen in secret. Who chose the crime scenes? The defendant. He thought then and still thinks, 'Who's going to believe a bunch of children?'"
Judge D.J. Tegeler will sentence Bedoya on Oct. 3. He faces a minimum sentence of 48 years in prison and his $4.8 million bail was revoked. Bedoya has other criminal cases pending and also is being sued for damages, along with Dundee Community Unit District 300.