According to ABC7, a former Diocese of Joilet teacher was charged with child sex crimes.
Jeremy Hylka, who works at Joilet Catholic Academy, was charged and arrested following a video posted online of Hylka showing up to a location under the impression a teenage boy was meeting him there for a sexual encounter.
In June 2020, an email was sent to Joilet Catholic Academy detailed allegations from at least 15 young men who claim Hylka acted inappropriately with them. Despite this email being received a year ago, the charges were just filed, reported ABC7.
Following his employment at Joilet Catholic Academy, Hylka was hired at St. Joseph Academy. The investigation against Hylka began in January, but parents were not notified.
Hylka has been charged with child grooming and other felonies. Details regarding the allegations have not been released.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer, represents victims who have been sexually abused at school. We asked Brian to share his thoughts on victims’ legal rights to help them determine their rights.
“Sadly, sexual predators are often found working in schools abusing their positions of power and trust to exploit their students sexually. Schools and administrations have a legal duty to protect their students and ensure their learning environment is safe. To uphold safety, schools should provide adequate safety measures, such as guards and cameras, but there are plenty more.”
“First, victims and their families should secure the services of an experienced sexual assault attorney to learn all their legal options. If ample security is not provided for enrolled students, a school might be considered liable if sexual misconduct occurs by an employee. A school and its administration would be considered liable in such cases due to negligence. An example of negligence is if a school was aware of allegations but did not properly investigate them. In negligence cases, the victim and their family would have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the school.”