Illinois high school teacher charged with sexually abusing student

DOLTON, IL -- A Thornwood High School teacher is charged with sexually abusing a 17-year-old female student. She spoke exclusively with ABC7 on Tuesday night.

Jesus Sanchez, a 44-year-old Spanish teacher at Thornwood High School in South Holland, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 18.

Jesus Sanchez, a Spanish teacher at Thornwood High School, is charged with sexually abusing a 17-year-old student.

The alleged victim, a straight-"A" student, says she is now afraid to go back to school. She nervously remembered what she said happened on that frightening night last month.

"I figured, like, there's no way for me to get out of this car, if I somehow move, he starts to choke me," she said. "He started to put his hands like, in my shirt, in my bra, and he moved his hand down."

Thorntown Township High School District 205 confirmed Sanchez is a Spanish teacher at the high school, but declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Dolton police said Sanchez pursued the girl where she worked in Tinley Park and offered her a ride home to Dolton. He told her he had two other students with him.

"I don't think this student thought with him giving her a ride home with other students there would be any problem," Dolton Police Interim Chief Riley Rogers said.

But police say there was a struggle and he assaulted her in his car.

"He dropped the other students off in another town and proceeded to the home of the victim, where they sat in the car for a while. She he got ready to exit the car, he at that time grabbed her and fondled her," Rogers said.

As the young victim struggled to get away, her mom says he held her by neck, at one point asking her why she had Mace in her purse. She managed to get away, run inside and call 911. Sanchez remains in police custody.

"I felt like a little safer now that he's in custody, I know exactly where he is," the alleged victim said.

Sanchez will appear in bond court Wednesday morning. Dolton police say more charges are likely.
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