A Highland Park High School special education teacher is on paid leave after being charged with possessing child pornography, officials said.
Kevin B. Higgins, 52, of the 100 block of Winona Road in Highland Park, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, which is a Class 3 felony.
Higgins was taken into custody on a warrant following a criminal investigation by the Highland Park Police Department, court records show.
Police said that Higgins had images showing a juvenile engaged in sex acts on his computer but declined to release further information citing the ongoing investigation.
Township High School District 113 records show that Higgins is employed as a full-time special education teacher who earns a $126,000 a year salary with $17,000 in additional benefits.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bruce Law sent a letter to parents of students at the high school saying that Higgins had been on paid administrative leave since October 8 after police notified school administrators that he was under investigation.
It is not believed that the images of the child found on Higgins’ computer were that of a student at the school, Law said.
“District 113 stands ready to fully cooperate with law enforcement with respect to this matter,” Law said in the statement. “…current information indicates no involvement of District 113 or its students, the District has had minimal involvement in the criminal investigation,” Law added.
“The district conducts fingerprint-based criminal background checks and cross-referencing using state and national sexual and violent offender registries. In addition, a new state law requires that we background check all employees every five years. District 113 is going further and performing the state-required background checks on every employee every year,” Law said.
Higgins appeared in court and bond was set at $250,000. He was released from the Lake County Jail after posting $25,000, which is 10 percent of his bond.