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Prosecutors: State Caseworker Sought Sex From Clients

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ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — An Illinois state employee is being held on $70,000 bond, on charges that he solicited sex from the people he was supposed to be helping.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Esteban Figueroa, 44, of South Elgin, is charged with soliciting sex with his clients in exchange for just doing his job as a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Prosecutors say Figueroa withheld medical benefits from at least one man who wouldn’t talk dirty with him and turned down his repeated advances.

According to court records, the first incident took place in June 2010 and involved a male client who had met with Figueroa looking to reinstate his medical benefits.

Prosecutors alleged that Figueroa attempted to engage the client in explicit conversation, and made continuous blatant sexual advances toward him.

The second two felony charges stem from a May 2011 incident where prosecutors said a separate victim was solicited by Figueroa in exchange for the reinstatement of medical benefits.

The charges said Figueroa asked a client for explicit pictures of himself, and at some point during the meeting he offered the client $20 to “go home” with him.

Januari Smith Trader, communication manager for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services said the complaints are being investigated.

“We take all allegations of misconduct very seriously,” she said. “Our clients are our number one priority and we will not tolerate any behavior that compromises DHS’ mission of delivering vital services to Illinois families. The department will thoroughly review the charges against Mr. Figueroa and take appropriate administrative action.”

Figueroa, who works in the Elgin office of the Human Services Department, is being held at the Kane County Jail on charges of felony official misconduct. He has been in custody since Sept. 28.

Figueroa was scheduled to be in court Wednesday.

The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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