Defendants plead not guilty in sex crime cases

  • Ilan Gibori

    Ilan Gibori

  • Isai Gonzaga

    Isai Gonzaga

Updated 5/7/2021 8:31 PM

Two Lake County residents facing charges of committing sex crimes against minors pleaded not guilty Friday in separate hearings in Lake County circuit court.

Ilan Gibori, 46, a former middle school teacher from Vernon Hills, faces 25 counts of criminal sexual assault by a person in a position of trust or supervision against a victim ages 13 to 17.


Gibori, who faces a possible sentence of four to 15 years per count, was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security in March at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport. Authorities said he was attempting to evade a Lake County warrant on the charges.

Authorities allege Gibori met his victim while he was a teacher at Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove in 2017. Gibori left Cooper School in July 2019 and had worked at The House Tutoring Lounge in Glencoe prior to his arrest.

The other defendant, Isai Gonzaga, 26, of Round Lake Park, is charged with 26 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Authorities allege he traded vape cartridges and marijuana edibles to teenagers in the Gurnee area in exchange for sex acts or money.

Gonzaga faces a possible sentence of three to seven years per count if convicted.

Gonzaga and Gibori both pleaded not guilty Friday before Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes in separate arraignments.

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Both face bond review hearings.

Gonzaga, whose bail had been set at $250,000 and was released after posting $25,000 bond, is scheduled for a May 13 hearing to increase his bail.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Mary Stanton said there is new information that there are now three victims, rather than the two when bail was set.

Shanes set a bond review hearing for Gibori on May 27.

Gibori has remained in Lake County jail on $2 million bail, and his attorney, Tim Carter, asked for a hearing to have the amount reduced.

"We believe there has been a change of circumstances since the last hearing," Carter said.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said Friday he doesn't believe the bail amount is the issue.

"We believe Mr. Gibori should remain in custody while he awaits trial, in light of the fact he fled the area after becoming aware of the investigation," Rinehart said.

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