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Former middle school teacher from Vernon Hills pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting student

Ilan Gibori, 46, of Vernon Hills.

A Vernon Hills resident, who is a former middle school teacher in Buffalo Grove, has pleaded not guilty to dozens of charges that he sexually assaulted a juvenile student multiple times.

Ilan Gibori, 46, of Vernon Hills, was indicted on 25 counts of criminal sexual assault of a victim between the age of 13 and 17.

Gibori pleaded not guilty to all counts against him during a Friday arraignment hearing before Lake County Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes.

Gibori has remained in Lake County Jail on a $2 million bond and his attorney, Tim Carter, asked Shanes for a bond review hearing to have the amount reduced.

“We believe there has been a change of circumstances since the last hearing,” Carter said without elaborating.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart argued that Gibori should remain in custody while he awaits trial due to the fact that he tried to flee the country after becoming aware of the investigation.

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Shanes set a bond review hearing for May 27. Gibori, who is charged with 25 Class 1 felonies, faces four to 15 years in prison per count.

The man was arrested on March 25 by the Department of Homeland Security at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport while allegedly attempting to evade his arrest warrant, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office previously said.

The Vernon Hills Police Department received information from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in late March that Gibori had sexually assaulted a minor victim.

A preliminary investigation determined Gibori met the victim while he was a teacher at Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove in 2017, prosecutors said.

The assaults occurred on nearly a dozen occasions over a period of several years, court records show.

Gibori left Cooper Middle School in July 2019 and worked at The House Tutoring Lounge in Glencoe as the center’s director.

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The House Tutoring Lounge issued a statement after Gibori’s arrest in March, saying they were devasted to learn of the charges against the man.

“We built The House as an oasis for students to feel supported, comfortable, and safe. We are deeply troubled by the serious allegation that one of our employees inflicted harm on a child as a schoolteacher, which violates the values and mission of our organization and our devoted team,” the statement said.

The company said they fired Gibori and they are “fully cooperating with law enforcement.” They also said they hired outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation.

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said they worked with the Vernon Hills Police Department to quickly obtain an arrest warrant for Gibori after the assault was reported.

A state’s attorney’s investigator notified Homeland Security Investigations at O’Hare and Dallas-Fort Worth airports to locate and apprehend Gibori based on the warrant.

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“Bringing this fleeing suspect to justice would not have happened without the incredible efforts and rapid response from our law enforcement partners — the Department of Children and Family Services, the Children’s Advocacy Center attorneys and staff, Homeland Security Investigations – O’Hare/Dallas Fort Worth, and State’s Attorney’s Office investigators,” Rinehart said at the time of Gibori’s arrest.

“We are very troubled by these allegations but applaud the courage of the victim. Our investigators worked quickly with the Lake County State’s Attorney and the Department of Homeland Security to secure a warrant, locate and apprehend Gibori,” Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick Kreis said in March.

The investigation is ongoing and prosecutors said they encourage parents whose children were students of Gibori to speak with them.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is encouraged to contact the Vernon Hills Police Department Investigations Unit at 847-247-4891.