High school track coach sexually assaulted student 40 times after background checks failed to reveal felony history
The school district lawyers said in the court filings that the girl had 'factually consented' to the sexual misconduct
A brand new report has revealed the horrifying details of how a high school coach sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl around forty times after he got the job because of a lack of proper background checks.
The Chicago Tribune did a detailed analysis of how the Chicago Public Schools either missed out on or completely ignored the previous arrest records for nine out of the 72 employees, who have been accused of sexually assaulting students in the past decade.
The detailed report was published on June 1 and it brought up many concerns about how the school district verifies the backgrounds of their employees and then takes action against allegations of abuse by the students. The school district has more than 396,000 students studying in the area.
One of the most shocking cases from the report is of Gerald Gaddy, a rapist, who was allowed work as a volunteer track and field coach at the Simeon Career Academy, a leading sports school in the district.
He volunteered at the academy in spite of him having four felony convictions for drug dealing and possession. The academy also received multiple warnings from district officials not to let him in the grounds but to no avail.
A 16-year-old female honors student came forward and said the 46-year-old Gaddy fondled and had sex with her around 40 times during the 2013-2014 school year. He was subsequently convicted of 15 counts of sex crimes and is currently behind bars at the Menard Correctional Center. The case also involved another victim who was 17 years old. Records from the state reveal that Gaddy will be eligible for parole only in 2048.
Child Protective Services slammed the 16-year-old for her side of the story after she sued the school district and claimed that Gaddy should have never been allowed to volunteer as a coach at the school.
The district lawyers said in the court filings that the girl had "factually consented" to the sexual misconduct. They said that she also engaged in "repeated instances of active concealment, denial, and dishonesty" by not reporting the incidents after they happened.
The Tribune heard from CPS that the systems they use for background checks is very thorough but then said that when it comes to coaches it is a "particular area of concern". They also said that the district is now going to start centralizing their screening process and strengthening it for the batch of coaches for 2019.
There are other cases that have also raised concerns about the lack of action by schools that students go through after coming forward with allegations of abuse.
In one of these cases, many students at the Hubbard High School accused one particular security guard of misbehaving with them. They told the Tribune that they had reported instances of groping by the guard as early as 2011. Unfortunately, there is no record that shows that the school took any action against the guard until 2014.
38-year-old security guard, Walter CJ Wells, is currently behind bars after being convicted in 2016 for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery. He is set to be released from prison in July 2018.
Then-17-year-old Kyana Aguilar had reported Wells for groping her buttocks and breasts. She said: "I trusted him because he worked at the school. He was an ordinary person who violated me. It could happen to anyone."
Reporters from the Chicago newspaper have said that their efforts into the investigation were heavily impeded by the lack of any definitive instance of any alleged abuse that took place by the public school employees.
CPS did agree that its Law Department had investigated about 430 reports that involved school employees who had sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed students in the district since 2011. They claim to have found 230 instances with credible evidence against the employees.
Reporters still had to dig through mountains of evidence because the district did not give them proper information on the dates of the alleged incidents or the schools where they occured. The Tribune reporters were able to make a city-wide picture of the abuse in public schools that started in 2008 after all their research.
An employee working in CPS at the time was identified as the mastermind behind the covering up in 72 of the 430 cases that the reporters reviewed.
The report was able to reveal that nine of the employees who had been accused in the 72 cases had prior arrest records that all related to alleged sexual offences involving children, drugs, weapons, assault, or theft allegations.
This all came as a blaring sign that the nine employees could be a threat to children.