Yet another man has stepped forward claiming years of sexual abuse at the hands of a former Chicago school employee and mentor.
The alleged victim, referred to as “John Doe” in a new lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education, joins a growing number of men who argue the board should be held accountable for what happened to them as children.
John Doe is the 20th man to come forward claiming to be abused by former Board of Education employee Marvin Lovett.
The alleged abuse occurred in late 1988 and 1993 while John Doe was a student at James Weldon Johnson Elementary School and Collins Academy High School.
He said the memories still haunt him nearly 25 years later.
“I go through a lot. It had me stressed out. I be depressed a lot,” said John Doe.
According to the lawsuit, the Board of Education allowed Lovett to perform various jobs at Johnson Elementary that involved and required Lovett to interact with minor students.
The lawsuit alleges the Board of Education knew Lovett was not fit to work with children and continued to employe him despite receiving warnings that Lovett was acting inappropriately towards male minors.
“Part of the allegations of our complaint is he was allowed to remove children during their school day to take them to various areas of the school unsupervised,” said attorney Lyndsay Markley. “He would also leave the school with children and take them to his home.”
This is the first lawsuit involving Lovett that is only against the Board of Education. A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools said the board does not comment on pending litigation.
The other 19 plaintiffs claim they were abused during Lovett's employment with the United Believers after school mentor program. United Airlines has said it disagrees that its donations constitute the reprehensible acts of one individual involved in the program.
Lovett was shot to death in 2000. A United Believers participant named Sylvestor Jamison pleaded guilty to murder. Police said they found 140 videotapes showing Lovett sexually abusing minors, including Believers participants.
The lawsuit involving the United Believers program is expected to go to trial next August.
John Doe said he hopes he will find closure by speaking out.
“I feel like it's time for me to tell my story about what happened to me to make me kind of feel a little better,” said John Doe.