SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — The mother of a former student at Schaumburg Christian School says some memories took on a disturbing new meaning when she heard the accusations against teacher Paul LaDuke.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, LaDuke, 75, was released on bail Wednesday night after allegedly confessing to masturbating while seated at his podium during class. He was fired from the school at 200 N. Roselle Rd. on Monday.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
The school, says the mother of a student, whom we’ll call Mrs. A, is a conservative institution where parents consent to their children being spanked.
That makes the allegations all the more shocking, she said.
“For a school that has such a strict by law and will paddle children for their misbehavior – this is how strict they are – it’s really, really sickening,” Mrs. A said.
Mrs. A recalls running into LaDuke in a hallway at the school several years ago. His zipper, she says, was wide open and she said, “Mr. LaDuke, XYZ.”
“And he didn’t seem to realize what XYZ represented, so I said to him ‘Mr. LaDuke, your pants are open,’ and he looked down, and he immediately zipped his pants,” she said.
She thinks there was another similar incident as well.
“It just really all makes sense now,” she said.
This past Friday, a student at the school reported to another teacher that LaDuke appeared to be masturbating in 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.
At LaDuke’s bond hearing Thursday, prosecutors say he confessed in a handwritten note that he masturbated before the 13 students while an apron was draped over his lap, and that it was far from the first time, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Dave Weiner said.
He allegedly admitted also to fantasizing about female students while masturbating in class for the past 10 years, Weiner said.
But defense attorney Irv Seidler said he thinks LaDuke has some form of dementia and is a very agreeable person.
“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 has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child. He was released from the Cook County Jail after posting 10 percent of his $40,000 bond Wednesday night.
“I don’t want to say anything,” LaDuke said as he left the jail and searched for his wife, who had come to pick him up.
LaDuke has been a math teacher at the school for 26 years, and is also an ordained minister.