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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

New child sex abuse lawsuit filed against Chicago non-denominational private school

Female teacher charged with repeatedly molesting teenaged boy

Crimes included intercourse & touching male student almost daily

Despite being the victim of a crime, the Plaintiff was removed from the school after threats and verbal and physical attacks by school staff and officials

SNAP prods 'anyone with information' about predator to 'come forward, get help & call cops'

WHAT
Surrounded by victims holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, an attorney will disclose a new lawsuit being filed against Chicago Hope Academy, a non-denominational college prep school that:
-- describes the repeated sexual abuse of a teenaged boy by a woman teacher who was arrested, criminally charged and resigned from the school, and
-- charges that the school knew of the teacher’s misconduct but “turned a blind eye” to the abuse and failed to protect the student from harm
-- when the abuse was discovered, the student was, blamed, harassed, intimidated, and threatened by school faculty and administration.

The group will publicly urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes at the school to speak up, get therapy and call police, so kids will be safer.

Copies of the filed complaint will be available.

WHEN
Thursday, August 20, at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 W. Bowler (one block south of Stroger (Cook County) Hospital on Chicago's near west side.

WHO
Several members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including SNAP's founder and president.

WHY

In August 2008, a Chicago Hope Academy teacher, Kathyrn Vail-Wesley, began repeated sexual contact with a teenaged student. It is believed that school staff suspected the teacher was abusing the student, and that she admitted to faculty that she had “intimate and/or sexual feelings” toward him. Yet the administration did not act.

Last October, Vail-Wesley was arrested and charged with molesting the boy. Since then, she has resigned.

A criminal prosecution is pending. Her husband had also worked at the school and resigned at the time as well. When he learned of the abuse, he physically accosted the victim. But since then, the husband has returned to his position on the faculty of the school.

The suit says the school “permitted a culture where teachers were physically affectionate with students,” and “students would regularly be alone with and/or socialize at the homes of teachers.” It also charges that school staff acted in a “coercive and retaliatory” manner toward the boy when the abuse ended.

According to the lawsuit, school President Bob Muzikowski “specifically threatened to physically harm” the student. The student was also forced to leave the school even though he was the victim of the crime.

The three year old facility (www.chicagohopeacademy.org/) is housed in the former St. Callistus school.

The new lawsuit is being filed in Cook County Court and seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial.

CONTACT
Attorney Marc Pearlman 312 261 4450, David Clohessy 314 566 9790,
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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