Update: Community Unit School District 200 released a statement Wednesday afternoon about Klemm's suspension and other details.
A Wheaton North High School English teacher has been charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault of a teen, after he had sexual encounters with a former student starting when she was 16 in a classroom, a parking garage in Chicago and at his home, prosecutors said.
Edwin Klemm, 43, of St. Charles, has been a teacher at Wheaton North for 13 years and once served as a coach for the school's speech team. District 200 officials said Wednesday Klemm has been suspended without pay and will not return to work until the issue is resolved.
Klemm is being held at DuPage County Jail on $600,000 bail, with 10 percent needed to apply as bond. Prosecutors initially asked DuPage County Judge Elizabeth Sexton for an $800,000 bail, saying that Klemm violated a position of trust.
"The acts are certainly egregious in this case," said Ann Celine O’Hallaren, assistant state’s attorney, during a Wednesday morning bond hearing.
Klemm appeared via closed-circuit television during the hearing wearing an orange jumpsuit. He looked down at the ground as prosecutors detailed his contact with the student.
The relationship between Klemm and the student first came to light after her parents found a love letter from him to their daughter, prosecutors said. The relationship began in February 2011 when the student was 16.
Klemm that month initiated a conversation with the student where he asked her via text message to come to his classroom after she finished with another extracurricular activity that afternoon. During the meeting, he asked aloud if he should kiss her, then said he should wait until she was 18. He kissed her anyway, prosecutors said.
Klemm began to contact the student at all hours of the day and night, prosecutors said. They would end up having sexual encounters in a Wheaton North classroom, an AMC movie theater parking garage in Chicago and in a parking lot near Geneva and County Farm roads in Wheaton.
Klemm also engaged in sexual activity with the student at his home on the 1100 block of Howard Street in St. Charles. The student told investigators there was at least one occasion where Klemm’s daughter was somewhere in the home while they met.
The student told Klemm that the relationship was wrong and broke it off in December of 2011, prosecutors said.
The student, now 18, attends college out of town but met earlier this year with investigators of the DuPage County Children’s Advocacy Center. The center investigates and processes all cases of child sex abuse in the county, according to the county website. Klemm met with investigators on Tuesday and admitted to the relationship. He was arrested, charged and booked into the DuPage County Jail.
Klemm told Judge Sexton that he believed he could post the $60,030 — the bond amount plus a $30 fee — needed to get out of jail. If he does, he must submit to GPS monitoring, not have any contact whatsoever with the student or anyone under the age of 18 and surrender his passport.
If convicted on the charges, Klemm faces a minimum of 44 years of prison, prosecutors said. Authorities anticipate more charges against Klemm will be filed, but those were not detailed in Wednesday's bond hearing.
"I would like to thank the Wheaton Police Department for their outstanding work on this very upsetting case," said Robert Berlin, DuPage County State's Attorney, in a prepared statement. "I would also like to thank Director Pat Dempsey and Investigators Boris Vrbos and Terry Haliw of the DuPage County Children’s Center as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Ann Celine O’Hallaren for their work on this case and their ongoing efforts in protecting our children from sexual predators.”
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