A former Chicago-area teacher and coach who has since been accused of inappropriately touching a female student during gym class now faces more charges of criminal sexual assault in connection with a former student’s claims that she was twice impregnated by the coach, leading to a pair of abortions.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune imprint The Daily Southtown, former Thornton Township (Ill.) High School gym teacher and softball coach Jason Hardy was arrested after a now 26-year-old woman came forward and detailed an illicit relationship between the pair when he was 33 and she was 17.
Here’s more from the Daily Southtown on the pair’s illegal sexual trysts and why the victim waited until now to come forward:
He allegedly initiated a sexual relationship with one of his softball players in 2010, when she was 17 and he was 33, prosecutors said. The alleged victim told police that Hardy got her pregnant twice and that she had abortions in both cases.
The woman, now 26, said she didn’t come forward at the time for fear of jeopardizing Hardy’s career and the reputational repercussions she might face if others learned she had abortions, according to a bond proffer.
After reading on Facebook in September that Hardy had been accused of inappropriately touching another student, however, the woman contacted police because “she does not want (Hardy) to do to anyone else what he did to (her),” prosecutors said.
The Thornton Township School District released a statement saying it could not comment on the case because it involved a former student. Meanwhile, the mother of one of Hardy’s two known victims told the Daily Southtown there are a number of other students who have come forward claiming they were contacted inappropriately by Hardy, too.
Hardy was freed after paying the required installment of a $50,000 bond fee. His next court appearance is to come June 7, when he will face sexual assault charges.