Ex-Elgin mental hospital social worker admits sexual misconduct

  • Christy L. Lenhardt

    Christy L. Lenhardt

Updated 9/7/2019 6:49 AM

A former Elgin Mental Health Center social worker pleaded guilty Friday to one count of sexual misconduct with a person with a disability.

Christy L. Lenhardt, 55, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 30 months of probation. She will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.


She was charged in April on eight counts of sexual misconduct with a person with disabilities and six counts of official misconduct. She was accused of allowing a male patient to touch her inappropriately and engaging in sex acts with him during more than 2 years, according to court records.

Ultimately, she faced 28 felony charges.

Authorities alleged she sexually assaulted a man who was serving a sentence at the facility after pleading not guilty to a crime by reason of insanity.

Lenhardt lives in South Elgin. She had been free on bond but was taken in to custody Friday.

The case was investigated by Illinois State Police.

Several former EMHC patients, including the victim in the criminal case, have filed federal lawsuits against Lenhardt and center officials. Those were put on hold until the criminal case was resolved.

The victim alleged in his lawsuit Lenhardt started coming on to him when he first arrived in August 2014, and that the medical director and five subordinates ignored or covered up wrongdoing. "During those 2 years, she used cash payments, gifts of electronic devices and clothing and other inducements to maintain control over plaintiff so she could continue to use him sexually," the suit states.

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