West suburban substitute teacher charged with sexual assault of child

LA GRANGE , Ill. (STMW) - Bond was set at $750,000 Thursday for a 56-year-old substitute teacher at a west suburban elementary school accused of inappropriately touching a female student in his classroom.

Joseph Gurzejk has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s police responded to a report Monday that a teacher at La Grange Highlands Elementary School had inappropriately touched a girl that day after class. Gurzejk had worked as a substitute teacher at the school since 2004.

Prosecutors allege he was teaching the girl’s class when he hugged her and asked her to stay after class, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. After the other students left the room, he hugged her again and began fondling her under her clothing.

She told another student about the incident at lunch and reported it to school officials after the school day ended, prosecutors said.

Gurzejk was taken into custody the next day, according to the sheriff’s office.

Bond was set at $750,000 Thursday for the Westchester resident, prosecutors said. He is next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 24.

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