High school gym teacher accused of getting teen student pregnant twice and making her abort both pregnancies
A Chigaco teacher has been accused of having a sexual relationship with one of his high school students, getting her pregnant twice, and then taking her to get abortions on both occasions.
According to The Chicago Tribune, 42-year-old Jason Hardy, a former gym teacher and softball coach at the Thornton Township High School, allegedly initiated the relationship with the victim, one of his softball players, in 2010 when she was 17 and he was 33.
In the course of their relationship, Hardy is said to have gotten her pregnant twice and then forced her to abort the pregnancy. However, those were not the only allegations made against the teacher.
The victim came out with her story after another former Thornton student, Diamond Randall, claimed he had touched her inappropriately last year. She said Hardy had twice reached under her shirt during gym class in May 2018 and caressed her back and sides and told her, "I love you".
Her mother had subsequently removed her from the school following the incident and filed a complaint against Hardy with the Harvey Police in September that led to his arrest on misdemeanor battery charges.
The mother then made a post on Facebook the same month asking Hardy's other victims to come forward as well, which is when the sexual assault victim, now 26 years old, decided to speak out about her own experiences with the gym teacher.
She told police about her pregnancies and abortions and said she did not come forward at the time for fear of jeopardizing Hardy's career and other potential repercussions she might face if others found out she had to have abortions.
Following her testimony to authorities, Hardy, who had resigned from his position at Thornton in December 2018, was arrested once again this past Thursday, May 16, and charged with criminal sexual assault.
Besides the 26-year-old and Randall, the mother said a number of other former Thornton students had contacted her about Hardy's inappropriate behavior as well. Prosecutors confirmed they had located two more victims but that neither wished to pursue charges at this time.
Hardy appeared in Markham court on Friday, May 17, to face his charges. Following the hearing, his attorney, Russell Brown, said they had only found out about the allegations in court that afternoon and that, after conversations with his client, he believes they are completely fabricated.
In a statement, District 205 officials said they were "shocked and saddened" by Hardy's arrest and that they were cooperating with law enforcement. "The Thornton Township High Schools District 205, Board of Education Members and administrations goal is to continue to move forward to ensure the safety of our students and to make sure that law enforcement has everything they need from us for their investigation," it said.
"We at Thornton Township High Schools District 205 take the health, safety, and personal welfare of our students and their families extremely seriously."
The 42-year-old was released from custody after posting 10 percent of his $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to make his next appearance in court on June 7 to face the criminal sexual assault charges, and then again on his battery charges on June 25.