A suburban Chicago teacher faces charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a former student.
Jesus Sanchez, 44, has been accused of taking advantage of his authority at Thornwood High School to manipulate an underage girl into a sexual relationship.
Sanchez worked as a Spanish teacher at the South Holland high school, according to Dolton Police.
“Here's a subject in a trust position and it was breached,” Dolton Interim Police Chief Riley Rogers told NBC Chicago.
Sanchez, who's been with District 205 since 2010, was at the Orland Park restaurant where the victim works on July 1, police said, with two male students who had done some sort of work for him on his home.
Police detailed the abuse at a Tuesday press conference, explaining the incident escalated after Sanchez offered the three students a ride home.
“He dropped the male students off first in another town and proceeded to the home of the victim and sat in the car and had a discussion,” Rogers said.
As the girl tried to exit the vehicle, Sanchez grabbed her and fondled her chest area, according to police.
After a short struggle, Sanchez allowed the victim to leave, police said.
When NBC Chicago tried to speak with Sanchez at his home Tuesday night, no one answered. But his neighbors were quick to defend their friend.
“I’m shocked, definitely,” one neighbor Jeff Butt told NBC Chicago. “He’s a great guy, works hard. He’s always outside, playing with kids, doing good things.”
Sanchez is charged with criminal sexual abuse and police say further charges are pending. He is scheduled to appear in court for a bond hearing Wednesday.