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Wheaton North teacher suspended without pay following sexual assault charges

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:52 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:46 p.m. CDT
(Submitted photo by the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office)
Wheaton North High School teacher and former speech team coach Edwin Klemm, 43, of 1113 Howard St., St. Charles, was charged Tuesday afternoon with the sexual assault of a former student.

WHEATON — A Wheaton North High School teacher charged with the sexual assault of a former student has been suspended without pay by Community Unit School District 200, according to a district news release.

CUSD 200 officials were informed late Tuesday that Edwin Klemm, 43, of the 1100 block of Howard Street in St. Charles, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault, according to the release. Klemm is an English teacher and former speech coach at Wheaton North. He was not arrested on district property.

It is alleged that between February and November 2011, Klemm sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female student multiple times at various locations, including movie theaters, his vehicle, a classroom and his house while his daughter was home, according to a news release from the DuPage County's State's Attorney's Office.

"The district takes the safety and emotional well-being of our students very seriously," the district release reads. "All staff must complete rigorous criminal background checks before beginning employment."

Klemm will be suspended until the investigation into the allegations against him is complete, according to district officials. At that time, the district will review his employment status, the release reads.

The student's parents contacted the DuPage County Children's Center after finding a love letter Klemm had allegedly written to the teenager, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. The center opened an investigation into the accusations.

Klemm appeared in bond court Wednesday morning. DuPage County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Sexton set his bond at $600,000.

Criminal sexual assault is punishable by four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. If found guilty of 11 counts of sexual assault, Klemm would face a minimum of 44 years in prison, as the sentences must be served consecutively, according to the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office. He is scheduled to appear in court April 15 in front of DuPage County Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell.

The district currently has no knowledge of any additional former or current students who were involved in any related incidents with Klemm, district officials said. Guidance counselors and staff members are available for students, and a social worker will be present in Klemm's classes for as long as necessary to address student concerns, the district release reads.

The district encourages parents to contact their school social workers, counselors and psychologists if they need help talking to their children about the allegations against Klemm, according to the release.

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