The charges are the first to come out of a growing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault of lifeguards at the Chicago Park District.
Mauricio Ramirez, 32, appeared in bond court on Thursday, accused of using his position as a lifeguard supervisor to have sex with an underage girl.
Ramirez worked for the park district for the past nine years, most recently as a lifeguard supervisor in Humboldt Park. He resigned earlier this month in the midst of an ongoing investigation.
According to the proffer read in court, Ramirez had sex with a 16-year-old female lifeguard under his supervision several times this past summer in his home and in his car.
After a sexual encounter on September 26, the girl broke down and told a friend and her parents about what was happening. The girl's parents took her to Lurie Children’s Hospital where she was given a rape kit test.
On Monday, the DNA collected during that test was matched to Ramirez. On Wednesday, Ramirez was arrested at his home in West Lawn and charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
At his court appearance, the judge ordered Ramirez held on a $500,000 bond.
Over the past several weeks, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and Chicago Police Department have indicated they are looking into reports of widespread sexual assault and harassment of teenage lifeguards by other lifeguards and park district employees.
The scandal cost park district superintendent Mike Kelly his job. He was forced to resign by Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier this month.
Ramirez‘s attorney declined to comment as he walked out of court.
FOX 32 reached out to the park district for comment, but they referred us to Chicago police.
Ramirez is expected back in court on Nov. 15.