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Chicago Teacher Sentenced on Sexual Abuse Charges

A Chicago music teacher was sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this month, after being convicted of sexually abusing two students.

According to prosecutors, the conduct leading to the Chicago sexual abuse conviction started in 2010. The music teacher had repeated sexual conduct with two female students, both of whom were under age 18 when the abuse began. Some of the conduct occurred at school in the band instrument storage room.

During the course of the abuse, the teacher sent tens of thousands of text messages to the victims, many of which expressed his desire for an ongoing sexual relationship. Prosecutors say that he also left "romantic" notes for the girls in their school lockers.

During sentencing, the judge in the case made a point of telling the teacher that nothing could ever "undo the damage" the teacher had done to his victims.

Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Criminal convictions go a long way to establish a sense of closure for the victims of childhood sexual abuse. However, they are not the only way an abuse victim can seek justice.

In many cases, child sexual abuse victims may have legal recourse to recover damages in a civil suit. While criminal cases are designed to punish abusers, civil cases are intended to provide victims with compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that have been inflicted on them.

Criminal charges are not a prerequisite to bringing a civil case. Although the evidence uncovered during a criminal investigation can certainly be helpful in a civil suit, sexual abuse victims can sue their abusers even in cases where no criminal investigation has been launched.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse or assault, know that you have rights. Talk to a child sexual abuse lawyer who can help you understand your options.

Source: Rockford Register Star, "Illinois Music Teacher Gets 12 Years for Sex Abuse," March 9, 2012.

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