A paraprofessional at SEDOL in Grayslake was charged with over a dozen sex crimes after prosecutors say he sexually assaulted a physically and mentally disabled student numerous times over a two-year period.
Israel Suaste-Gonzalez, 49, of the 19000 block of Cambridge Road in unincorporated Mundelein, was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, four counts of criminal sexual assault and five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a handicapped person.
Assistant State’s Attorney Russell Caskey said at a bond hearing Tuesday that Suaste-Gonzalez was employed at SEDOL’s Atkinson site, located at 100 South Atkinson Road in Grayslake, from 2016 through 2018.
He worked as a paraprofessional while the victim was enrolled at the facility. The victim referred to Suaste-Gonzalez as her “teacher” during that time, prosecutors said.
The victim claimed Suaste-Gonzalez sexually molested her multiple times at the school during his two years working with her at that location, and added that she felt like she was required to be involved because her “teacher” kept telling her to do so, Caskey said at the hearing.
The victim also told investigators that Suaste-Gonzalez told her not to tell anyone about the abuse.
Suaste-Gonzalez denied the allegations when first interviewed by police, but later admitted to sexually abusing the student on at least five occasions, Caskey said.
Lake County Associate Judge Paul Novak ordered the man held on a $2 million bond. Should Suaste-Gonzalez be able to post the required ten percent bail, he is ordered to have no contact with the victim, SEDOL, or any child under the age of 18.
He was also ordered to avoid all places where children may be located, like a school, park or day care, and is not allowed to have any contact with work sites where students from SEDOL may be placed. Judge Novak also ordered him not to consume any drugs or alcohol.
“Adults who sexually assault or abuse people with intellectual or physical disabilities and children are among the absolute worst offenders we see through our office,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said.
“Our hearts go out to the victim and the family. We applaud her courage in coming forward,” Nerheim said.
“The Grayslake Police Department did an outstanding job with this investigation. This case is another example of the great working relationship our Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center has with our law enforcement partners,” Nerheim added.
In October, a SEDOL paraprofessional was charged with causing injuries to special needs students on at least six occasions.