Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two teachers implicated in sex abuse at center

TWO MORE STAFF members have been implicated in the sexual abuse of children at a Rogers Park day-care center where a janitor was charged last week with taking indecent liberties with two children, sources close to the investigation said Saturday.

Authorities were not releasing the identities of the two staff members at the Rogers Park Jewish Community Center, 7101 N. Greenview Ave., but said the two are teachers and were named by children in interviews Saturday. Sources said that additional to the children's accusations, there is supporting medical evidence in at least one case. Each teacher was named by at least two children, the sources said.

One of the employees named by the children Saturday was one of two teachers suspended Thursday for failing to report children's complaints of sexual abuse, sources said, though at the time officials said neither was suspected of involvement in the molestation.

THE INTERVIEWS Saturday were done with 18 children who were considered "high risk" victims, said Allen Friedmann, who is conducting the interviews along with authorities Friedmann, a former investigator for the Illinois Department of children and Family Services, works for a not-for-profit agency, Human Effective Living Programs, Inc., and is a specialist in interviewing child abuse victims. He was called in last week by Chicago police to conduct the interviews.

Last week the janitor, Decortic Parks, 45, 7930 S. Peoria St., was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. Neither of the two teachers named by the children has been charged.

After preliminary interviews, the children were found to have a high likelihood of having been sexually abused based on their responses and physical exams, he said. Many of the Children have mentioned Parks during the interviews, Freidmann said.

AT LEAST three children told investigators they reported the incidents to two teachers. Those two teachers, whose identities have not be revealed, were suspended Thursday because of their alleged failure to report the incidents, Keenan said.

The two teachers, according to sources, deny that the children said they were attacked in the first-floor washroom outside classrooms, Friedmann said. Children older than 2 were allowed to go unattended to that washroom, according to sources.

CHILDREN ALSO reported that they were attacked in a boiler room in the basement of the building and in a stairwell leading from the first floor to the second floor.

According to Friedmann and a staff member who requested anonymity, Parks was the only one who had a key to that stairwell. Interviewers have been asking children where that stairwell leads, Freidmand said. Read more here.

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