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School District Reopens Probe Of Lake Forest Principal’s Sexual Harassment

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
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Deer Path Middle School principal John Steinert pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge in 2009. (Credit: Gurnee Police)

Deer Path Middle School principal John Steinert pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge in 2009. (Credit: Gurnee Police)

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — The principal of a Lake Forest Middle School has been placed on leave as the school district re-investigates his conduct with a college student three years ago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Deer Path Middle School principal John Steinert pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment through electronic communications in May 2009, according to a Chicago Tribune report by Lisa Black.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Steinert, now 40, admitted he used his work cell phone to send sexually explicit messages and a lewd photograph of himself to a 22-year-old woman, who was a college student who had been visiting the school during an internship with the Lake Forest Police Department, the Tribune reported.

At the time, Steinert was reprimanded by the School District 67, ordered to seek counseling and subjected to a temporary salary freeze, and that was that. But the Tribune started asking questions about what really happened.

According to the Tribune, the police report said Steinert kept texting the young woman for months, suggesting that they meet somewhere. When she said she was not interested and wanted Steinert to leave her alone, he told her to stop being a “tease,” the Tribune reported.

The report said Steinert also sent the woman a picture of his penis, and left voice mails and texts that suggested sex acts he wanted to perform with her and asked her about pornography and sex toys, the newspaper reported.

All of this went on from May through December 2008, until the woman finally contacted Gurnee police, according to the paper.

It turned out that the copy of the police report about the incident that district Supt. Harry Griffith had received in February 2009 had been heavily blacked out due to the ongoing investigation at the time, the Tribune reported. It was also missing some supplementary information that was added later.

Steinert was sentenced to conditional discharge, a $300 fine and 80 hours of community service when he pleaded guilty in May 2009, the newspaper reported.

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