Oak Park-River Forest Teacher charged with sexually assaulting student

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - After an Oak Park and River Forest High School student’s mother noticed that the teenager was constantly communicating with her English teacher Jeremy J. Lind, school officials told Lind he was crossing the teacher-student boundaries and had to limit communication with the girl.

But Lind continued talking to the 16-year-old, using cell phone apps that couldn’t be easily traced, Cook County prosecutors said. And after the pair expressed that they had feelings for each other in the fall, they allegedly started a sexual relationship, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Lind and the girl met in the city for at least four trysts last September, Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Turnock said at Lind’s bond hearing Tuesday.

Lind, 41, was ordered held in lieu of $150,000 bail Tuesday for charges related to the alleged sexual assault. If he is able to post bond, Lind must surrender his passport and be placed on electronic monitoring, Judge James Brown said.

Lind has since stopped working at the high school where he had been placed on administrative leave following an investigation into the matter, defense attorney Todd Pugh said. The married father, who grew up and lives in Oak Park, is currently receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, Pugh added.

Lind’s wife also is a teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

Lind first met his alleged victim when she was a junior, prosecutors said.

In the summer, he was her chaperone on an overseas high school-sponsored trip to Ireland and when he saw her passport, he had mentioned how she was pretty young for someone about to be a senior, Turnock said.

In Ireland, the girl confided to Lind about her personal and family issues, prosecutors said. When they returned home from Europe, the two started talking and texting for hours on their cell phones, Turnock said.

The girl would see Lind at school when she took summer school classes and soon, Lind made her his teacher’s assistant, Turnock said.

But once the girl’s mother got wind of their relationship, she turned to school officials.

The girl was eventually removed as Lind’s teaching assistant and Lind was told he couldn’t interact with her at school and had to cease communications with her.

But days later on Sept. 14, Lind made arrangements to meet the girl at a downtown hotel where the teen got a room, Turnock said. Lind picked the girl up outside the hotel and drove into a parking garage, where the pair kissed, Turnock said.

The girl then gave Lind a room key and told him to meet her in the room five minutes after she went in, Turnock said. Lind and the girl performed sexual acts on one another before Lind left.

Then on Sept. 21, Sept. 22, and Sept. 25, the girl, now 17, drove to Grand and Oak Park avenue with her mother’s car where she met Lind, Turnock said. The teenager would then go into Lind’s car and he would drive to a secluded side street where she would allegedly perform oral sex on him. Lind would then drive the girl back to her mom’s car, Turnock said.

During the last incident, as Lind and the girl fondled each other over their clothing, Lind got a call from his children’s babysitter, Turnock said.

The girl eventually told her friends what had been going on. School officials were alerted and started investigating.

At this time, Lind told the girl to delete everything on her phone that had to with their relationship, Turnock said. He also allegedly told her to deny anything that occurred between them and to make the matter go away.

Additionally, Lind told the girl to “make excuses” about their communications and just say he was giving her emotional support, Turnock said. He also said any investigation would hurt his wife and kids.

Lind and the teenager initially stopped talking on Oct. 3, but Lind did make phone contact with her within the last month, Turnock said.

Lind turned himself into police on Monday. He is facing three counts of criminal sexual assault, four counts of traveling to meet a minor, four counts of indecent solicitation of a child, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

Lind is currently living with his sister in the city, Pugh said.

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