CHICAGO (CBS) — Evanston Police are investigating new allegations of sexual abuse by a former high school teacher.
A Hollywood screenwriter and former Evanston student went on Twitter after the stories of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual attacks. CBS 2’s Mai Martinez has more on the story.
The allegations were made by a former student at Evanston Township High School who said the teacher had inappropriate contact with him and other male students years ago and at least one other man has said he was also a victim.
“I was upset that it was even happening and then scared too,” said mother, Iris Cruz.
That is how Iris Cruz felt after receiving an email from Evanston Township High School on Wednesday.
In it, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon informed parents allegations had been made against a “former ETHS acting teacher,” and that police were notified by the school at 4:15 p.m. that same day.
“The allegation is the teacher had some type of sexual interactions with the student,” said Evanston Police Department Commander, Joe Dugan.
That student, Jeff Lieber, now a Hollywood screenwriter, who also wrote for the TV show ‘Lost,’ tweeted about the alleged abuse Tuesday saying in part, “In high school, my acting teacher was a serial pedophile and abuser. He’d reach down our pants, touch the male genitals…”
“We take the allegation very seriously and it’s going to be investigated fully,” Dugan said.
CBS: Is there any indication that there are other victims?
“Right now at this time, I’ve seen something about somebody confirming that the allegation occurred,” Dugan said.
In response to the allegations, ETHS barred the accused former teacher from its campus and any school-related events, including a showcase scheduled for this Sunday that he purchased a ticket to attend.
Parents said that gives them some peace of mind.
“Because you trust them with your own kids. You expect them to behave and keep them safe,” Cruz said.
But her son is still uneasy about the allegations and the potential for other victims.
“We’re taught to like, whatever people of authority say, you kind of have to do, so that’s kind of like ‘that could have happened to me,'” said Angel Cruz, ETHS freshman.
Evanston Police have not yet interviewed the alleged victim.
CBS 2 are not identifying the teacher because he has not been charged with any crime, but we did reach out to him and the school for comment on the story, but neither replied.