Bensenville

Former Fenton HS student sues school board following alleged sexual abuse by teacher

The Fenton Community High School District 100 Board of Education terminated the staff member in question for alleged inappropriate conduct following criticism and calls for action by the school community.

A former student filed a lawsuit against the Fenton Community High School District 100 Board of Education, alleging the Bensenville school district's board failed to remove a longtime teacher and administrator who sexually abused her.

In the federal lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the former student claimed she was subjected to sexual abuse over multiple years by a teacher and track coach, according to Janet, Janet & Suggs, the law firm representing the plaintiff.

In mid-March, the board terminated the staff member in question for alleged inappropriate conduct following widespread criticism and calls for action by the school community. Although the teacher was identified in court documents, NBC Chicago has decided not to disclose his name because criminal charges haven't been filed.

According to the complaint filed in court, the woman was repeatedly sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and raped by the educator when she attended Fenton High School as a full-time student in 2015-2016.

Despite being made aware of numerous allegations against the teacher, the board failed to remove the teacher "to protect its students, and instead allowed the alleged abuse of numerous underage students to continue over a period of years," according to the plaintiff's lawyers.

On March 29, Fenton High School District 100 Superintendent James Ongtengco was placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into the handling of sexual assault allegations against the teacher, the Daily Herald reported.

NBC Chicago reached out to the district for comment regarding the filing of the lawsuit, but had yet to hear back as of Friday afternoon.

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