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The Stigma of Sex Crimes Involving Teachers and Coaches

A sexual allegation by a student against a teacher or coach can be career destroying and life altering. Parents, students and communities place a significant amount of trust in educators, so when a child claims inappropriate behavior occurred the consequences can be devastating.

School responses to allegations vary, but it is typical that the teacher or coach will be suspended pending an investigation. The state will immediately suspend the teacher’s license and criminal charges are sure to follow. The stigma that follows an Illinois sexual misconduct allegation against a teacher or coach can destroy a career.

For one former Will County Health Department Counselor and high school basketball referee sexual allegations pushed him over the edge. After being charged with sending sexually explicit messages to an underage girl (who was actually an undercover police officer), the man committed suicide. The man had repeatedly told police his life was over when they caught him trying to arrange a tryst with a girl he thought was 13 years old.

With an ever-increasing number of teachers and coaches admitting to sex offenses with students and children, the general assumption is that the allegations are true. Unless vigorously contested and disproven, the stigma associated with the allegations can prevent a teacher or coach from ever working with young people again.

A criminal charge for a sexual offense involving a child is even worse. A significant amount of prison time is nearly always on the table for sex crimes involving children. Whether prison or probation result, chances are that if convicted a registration requirement will also be required. This will limit where a person can live, work and socialize.

There is Hope

False allegations can be exposed and criminal charges can be dismissed, preventing a teacher or coach from going to prison and saving their career. Moreover, a vigorous defense can eliminate the stigma that accompanies sexual allegations. If you or a loved one has been accused of, or charged with, a sexual offense with a minor, contact an experienced Illinois sex crimes attorney to discuss your situation, your rights and your options.

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