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Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School

Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School, where a teacher is accused of sexual abuse.

Chicago Public Schools Teacher Charged with Sexually Abusing 4

A former Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School teacher was arrested in October for allegedly sexually abusing four students from the school. 55-year-old Julio Mora has been charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. According to police, the alleged assaults happened on the 2300 block of South Millar Avenue, near the school.

Chicago Public Schools removed Mora from his position at the elementary school after the district learned of the allegations. Parents of students at the school were notified of the allegation in November – which at the time only involved one student. As the investigation continued, detectives determined that there were at least three other additional victims.

Four young girls have contacted police to report sexual abuse by Mora, who they said touched them inappropriately. He has been released from Cook County Jail and is currently on electronic ankle monitoring. He is also prohibited from any contact with minors.

Sexual Abuse Scandal Strikes Chicago Public Schools

This case of sexual abuse is sadly not unique among Chicago Public Schools.

In November, a Chicago Tribune article revealed that a new Chicago Public Schools office for investigations of student-on-student sexual assault revealed over 600 allegations in this current school year.

Additionally, an Inspector General’s report from the last week of 2018 revealed that a teacher was hired at a CPS elementary school even though he listed a guilty plea to sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old boy on his job application.

In summer 2018, the Tribune also released an infographic on the problem of sexual violence at Chicago Schools. Some of the other cases cited in that report included:

  • A student and track star at Simeon Career Academy was raped 40 times by a coach.
  • A Black Magnet Elementary teacher sent obscene texts to a 14-year-old student and kissed her.
  • A Taft High School student reported that a security guard/track coach groped her during practice.

Legal Recourse for Victims of Sexual Assault in Schools

Attorney Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps families affected by sexual violence find justice and support. Here is some input from Brian regarding the legal options available to those who have survived sexual abuse by a school employee:

In schools and other settings that involve adults working with kids, it’s crucial to make sure that no predators are allowed to work or volunteer in any capacity. These fields often draw sexual predators who commit heinous crimes of sexual abuse. All job candidates must be given background checks in order to make sure that those with histories of sexual misconduct are not allowed to work for the school. And when abuse is reported or a staff member suspects abuse, it must be reported to law enforcement immediately.

While the criminal justice system will prosecute the abuser, the civil court systems can help victims and their families directly. Filing a lawsuit also helps demand accountability from the school district if their negligence enabled the abuse to occur.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a school employee, we understand the difficulties your family is facing. To learn more about how your family can find justice, consider contacting one of our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys.

Local News Coverage from ABC 7 Chicago

Location of Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School in Chicago, IL

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