OAK PARK, Illinois - A veteran teacher and coach at Fenwick High School in Oak Park has been placed on leave while officials investigate allegations that he sexually harassed a female student eight years ago.
We're not identifying the teacher because he hasn't been charged, but the former student, 26-year-old Helen Quinn Pasin, is making her allegations public online.
"I never wanted to have to talk about this publicly," Pasin said.
She said she was harassed and touched by the longtime teacher on multiple occasions in 2013 and 2014, and that the teacher was well known for hugging students inappropriately.
"Wrapped his arm around me, put his cheek on mine and asked about my love life and looking me up and down and making noises that sounded like he was growling."
Pasin said she reported his conduct to the school, and to Oak Park police last December, concerned that the teacher is still at Fenwick. Oak Park police declined to press charges, saying they couldn't prove the conduct was a felony and that the statute of limitations had passed.
Fenwick authorities sent an email to parents this week saying: "Please be assured that we took, and are taking, her allegations seriously and the inquiry into the incidents she describes is ongoing."
"I cannot sit by while my abuser still works at Fenwick High School," Pasin said. "He has harmed other people and the school is well aware of his bad actions."
Through an attorney the teacher is denying the allegations, saying he "never abused a Fenwick student at any time or in any place." and that he looks forward to clearing his name and going back to teaching.