CHICAGO (CBS) — Parents, teachers, and community groups at a Ravenswood Gardens elementary school are urging Cook County prosecutors not to show leniency to a Chicago Public Schools teacher accused of grooming and sexually assaulting a student.
Jason Gil, 42, was charged with seven felony counts in February; including criminal sexual assault, solicitation of child pornography, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, possession of child pornography, solicitation to meet a child, and grooming.
Gil, a teacher at Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who used to be his student. Prosecutors have said he began grooming the girl when she was 12, asked her to send him naked pictures of herself, and sexually assaulted her multiple times when she was 13 and 14.
Parents and others at Waters are worried Gil could get off light. They and a group of more than 150 parents, teachers, and community members from Waters Elementary have written a letter to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, saying they are concerned he could get a light sentence if he is allowed to take a plea deal.
“Gil’s sentence must hold him to the highest standard of culpability and reflect the severity of his crimes against a child to whom he was a teacher, a mentor, and an authority figure,” they wrote.
Gil appeared in court on Friday. He has been held without bail since he was charged.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office released a statement in response to the concerns.
“While we understand and share the concern of the community regarding the resolution of this case, the matter is pending litigation and we have not engaged in plea negotiations,” the statement said.
Parents at Waters want to make sure Gil faces a stiff sentence.
“If found guilty on all charges, Gil could be sentenced to 21-60 years and be required to register as a child sex offender for the rest of his life,” they wrote. “We urge you to push for a sentence within that range, which includes lifetime child sex offender registration.”
CPS has said Gil was removed from his position after the district learned about his arrest. He remains employed by the district, however, while the CPS inspector general’s office investigates the allegations against him.