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Teacher Posts Bail After Arrest For Masturbating In Class

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Paul LaDuke, 75, is charged with masturbating in class while teaching at Schaumburg Christian School on Nov. 11, 2011. (Credit: Schaumburg Police)

Paul LaDuke, 75, is charged with masturbating in class while teaching at Schaumburg Christian School on Nov. 11, 2011. (Credit: Schaumburg Police)

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Updated 11/16/11 – 9:53 p.m.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) – A suburban teacher was released on bail Wednesday night, after allegedly confessing to fondling himself in class.

Paul LaDuke, 75, was fired from Schaumburg Christian School on Friday, after a student reported to another teacher that LaDuke appeared to be masturbating while seated at his podium during class.

LaDuke was arrested on Monday and charged Tuesday with felony sexual exploitation of a child. His bond was set at $40,000 at a hearing at the Rolling Meadows courthouse on Wednesday and he posted the required 10 percent bail Wednesday evening.

“I don’t want to say anything,” LaDuke said after posting bail and being released from Cook County Jail, where he searched for his wife, who had come to pick him up.

Prosecutors said LaDuke admitted to the act and Schaumburg police said he might have been doing it for the past 10 years or more.

But his defense attorney said LaDuke might be suffering from dementia and just repeated the allegations detectives had leveled at him during questioning.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Dave Weiner told the judge that prosecutors have a handwritten note from LaDuke, in which he admits to fantasizing about female students while masturbating in class for the past 10 years. On Friday, LaDuke admitted he masturbated before the 13 students while an apron was draped over his lap, and that it was far from the first time, Weiner said.

LaDuke, has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child. LaDuke has been a math teacher at the school for 26 years, and is also an ordained minister.

On Friday, a student at Schaumburg Christian School, located at 200 N. Roselle Rd., reported to another teacher that LaDuke appeared to be masturbating while seated at his podium during class.

The teacher notified the school administration, which launched an internal investigation. LaDuke was fired on Friday and, on Monday, school officials contacted Schaumburg police.

“Obviously, she was distressed and upset by what occurred, but we’re very thankful that she brought it forward,” said Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebel.

Detectives interviewed several students and LaDuke was arrested on Monday.

Investigators determined that, while seated at a podium in class on Friday, LaDuke unzipped and lowered his pants and masturbated while students were present in the classroom.

“Through the course of our investigation, our detectives have come to believe that this has happened several times per year for 10 years or more, possibly,” Nebel said.

Asked if there had been previous complaints that did not result in any action against LaDuke, Nebel said no.

“It’s not that it’s been reported and nothing has been done, it’s just that during the course of the investigation, we’ve come to learn certain information and I can’t go further for the fact that there’s a possibility of more charges before a grand jury,” Nebel said. He made those comments before prosecutors revealed the note from LaDuke.

Police said there is no evidence that LaDuke touched any students in an inappropriate manner or harmed them physically.

Students and parents were stunned, and still want to know more about what happened.

“I understand there’s an issue that he did something he shouldn’t have done, in terms of behind the podium – whether it was adjusting his shirt or whatnot – but I know that the school did what it had needed to do,” said Daniel Csoka, the father of a student at the school. “I mean, just look at Penn State. Look at school after school having situations. But I believe that the officials and the administration did what they needed to do. I’m not concerned about my child.”

School administrator Jim Toth said the school took action as quickly as it could.

“We are shocked. We are saddened by what has transpired over the last few days. As soon as we started to receive information, we reacted as quickly as we possibly could,” Toth said. “We are fully cooperating with Schaumburg Police Department at this time, as they continue their investigation.”

But defense attorney Irv Seidler said he thinks LaDuke has some form of dementia and is a very agreeable person.

“I’m not sure if they’re his statements, or again, being told what happened and then just repeating what he was told,” Seidler said.

“It’s hard to tell. He’s agreeable. If I tell him that it’s nighttime out, perhaps he would believe it,” Seidler added. “He has some evidence of dementia. He’s 75 years of age. He has limited recall of what happened.”

LaDuke and his wife have been married 54 years, and Seidler said the suspect’s wife describes him as leading a churchgoing life, and as being a good husband and family man.

LaDuke taught Algebra I and Honors Geometry to high school freshmen, Honors Algebra II to sophomores, and Algebra II and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus to juniors and seniors. His name had been removed from the school’s Web site as of Wednesday morning.

Toth said LaDuke was “very well-liked, a good teacher, been here about 27 years, never had issues, anything like this with him in the past that we were ever made aware of. Many, many students are very saddened that this has happened.”

Schaumburg Christian School parent Daniel Csoka said, “I believe that this administration did what they needed to do. I’m not concerned about my child.”

Now that he is free on bail, LaDuke will not be allowed on school grounds.

Any current or former students or parents with information on the case were being urged to call Schaumburg police at 847-882-3534.

–CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov and Suzanne Le Mignot and WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts and Bernie Tafoya contributed to this report.

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