Oak Park

New Misconduct Allegations Arise Against Fenwick High School Teacher

A second woman has come forward claiming John Quinn sexually harassed her when she was a student

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A second woman has come forward claiming a suburban Catholic high school teacher repeatedly harassed her while she was a student.

In a video posted to Youtube, Emma Seavey said she was "subjected to daily sexual harassment" by John Quinn in his American History class at Fenwick High School.

"Mr. Quinn would go out of his way to compare me to a marginalized woman and ask how it would feel if I were to be sexually assaulted by him," said Seavey, who graduated in 2015.

"In addition to the routine verbal harassment, Quinn would usher me out of class, wrapping his arms tightly around me, and on at least one occasion, slid his hand under my bra strap, over my blouse," she continued.

Seavey reported the behavior to school officials after Quinn asked her mother during a parent-teacher conference if she could babysit his children, according to her video.

"I share this story because I think it is vitally important to see his actions as they were, calculated attempts to get closer to me," Seavey said.

Seavey said she was removed from his class and advised to avoid his classroom, and both parties were instructed not to have any contact or discuss the case.

"While I kept up my side of the bargain, Quinn did not," said Seavey.

"[He] would make every effort to be as near to me in public spaces as possible," she said. "During my senior year, he would pick out his moderator position during mass so he was always at the end of my row."

"Quinn’s routine stalking of me did not end when I graduated Fenwick. Quinn spent his time asking my younger brothers and my fiancé's younger brother how I was doing, where I was living and if I was still in a relationship with my now fiancé. I should also add, he had none of these students in his class, so he was going out of his way to find them in the halls," she continued.

Seavey's allegations come one week after another former student shared a video about her experiences with Quinn, who is the brother of former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Helen Quinn Pasin, who has no relation to Quinn, said in the video that he would touch her and ask about her love life.

"I decided to come forward in this way because I believe that Mr. Quinn doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong. That’s how narcissistic abusers operate," said Pasin.

Pasin said she filed a police report with Oak Park police in September 2021, describing the incidents from 2013 and 2014.

Oak Park police told NBC 5 that the Cook County State's Attorney's Office determined the evidence did not support a felony, and though a misdemeanor battery offense might have been warranted, the statute of limitations has expired.

In the report, however, the reporting officer also noted "a previous DCFS case regarding Quinn."

In that case, filed in May 2021, Oak Park police learned of an allegation of misconduct dating back to 1990. At the time, the male student was 18. However, police could not reach him, and according to the report, “the incident as reported in the DCFS notification is past the statute of limitations and prosecution is not viable.”

The report goes on to say that the incident was pending, with further investigation needed. Authorities have since said the investigation was closed.

Quinn, through his brother Thomas, released the following statement ,denying all of the allegations against him.

The accusation that John Quinn subjected Emma Seavey to sexual harassment is
false. John has never sexually harassed Ms. Seavey or any other Fenwick student,
at any time or in any place.

John has always put students’ interests first and has always participated in
Fenwick’s internal processes for addressing student concerns. He intends to
continue doing so in the future.

John looks forward to returning to the classroom and continuing in the profession
to which he has devoted his entire career.

Quinn has been suspended and is currently on administrative leave while a third-party investigation continues, according to Fenwick.

In her video, Seavey said she's coming forward to bring justice for herself and those "subjected to similar abuse."

"I am not sharing my story to gain closure. Instead, I am reclaiming my voice, which Fenwick attempted to silence for so long," she said.

Seavey has been documenting her experiences for years.

In 2018, she contacted the school again to outline its "misgivings" in the handling of her situation, citing that even five years after graduation, she still has emotional reactions "bordering on panic attacks" hearing Quinn's name.

Then, in 2021, when Fenwick sent a community alert about allegations against a priest at the school, she contacted school officials again to report the "threatening and predatory behavior."

In an email response, the school said Quinn had been given notice and a "last chance ultimatum."

"Emma’s story reassures my decision to back out of Fenwick’s internal investigation process. Since hers was entirely fruitless," said Pasin, who said she never reported her experiences with Quinn to the school at the time.

Since coming forward with her story, Pasin said 30 former students have come forward to share similar experiences.

Most wish to remain anonymous, but Pasin is sharing their testimonials on Youtube.

"He’s been on leave many times and he always comes back," said Pasin.

"For whatever reason, Fenwick has protected him for many, many years. So, going public with a video on Youtube felt like my only effective way to reach them," Pasin said.

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