CHICAGO (CN) – A student athlete sued a Chicago prep school that recruited him for football, claiming it turned a blind eye to his sexual exploitation by a math teacher, then blamed him for ruining her marriage and career after her husband, also a teacher, caught them at it.
The student claims that Kathryn Vail-Wesley, 22, a teacher at Chicago Hope Academy, a private Christian high school, initiated the sexual relationship with him when he was 16, in the spring of 2008, by “publicly and privately” showering him with “attention and affection.”
John Doe claims Vail-Wesley’s attentions escalated to include phone calls, secret letters, secret messages, and repeated requests that he stay after school, during which she made make intimate comments about her private life and sexual history. Vail-Wesley finally propositioned him, telling him she longed to “mix (his) chocolate skin with (her) vanilla skin,” according to the complaint.
The student claims that from summer through October 2008 Vail-Wesley engaged in “regular and repeated sexual contact with the student in numerous locations throughout the school, including classrooms, passageways, the teacher’s lounge and academy chapel.”
He says they indulged in sexual touching, kissing, intercourse and other sexual acts.
Throughout the relationship, Vail-Wesley said their illicit encounters were a “reward” for his performance on the football filed, Doe says. He says Vail-Wesley was a constant presence at these games, exclusively wearing his jersey.
Doe says the relationship ended abruptly in October 2008, after Vail-Wesley’s husband, also a teacher at the Academy, searched for and discovered his wife having sex with the student in a classroom.
He says Vail-Wesley’s husband removed him from the classroom and punched him in the face. And he says that thereafter he was ridiculed by administrators and faculty, who berated him for “victimizing” the teacher.
Academy President Bob Muzikowski went so far as to physically threaten him, blaming him for creating a scandal and interfering with Vail-Wesley’s marriage and career, the complaint states.
Doe says he was given an ultimatum: to withdraw from the school or face expulsion, which would have disrupted his athletic aspirations. He now attends a public school in a Chicago suburb.
Vail-Wesley has been charged with sexual assault involving a minor, the complaint states.
Doe claims the academy promoted a culture in which teachers were physically affectionate with students – student athletes in particular -allowing students to be alone with and to socialize with teachers in their homes. He claims that Vail-Wesley’s “regular and conspicuous” behavior toward him – including publicly hugging and touching him on a daily basis – was known or should have been known to other teachers and administrators.
He seeks damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, willful and wanton misconduct, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. He is represented in Cook County Court by Marc Pearlman with Kerns, Frost & Pearlman.