PLAINFIELD – A Plainfield Central High School science teacher was arrested Thursday by Plainfield police on charges the educator had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student, Plainfield School District 202 announced Friday.
Brian D. Smith, 32, has been employed with the district since August 2014, according to a news release from District 202. He was charged with one count of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony.
"The alleged sexual relations took place about two weeks ago in a PHSCC storage room adjacent to Smith's classroom," according to the district. "The female was one of Smith's students."
Smith's bond was set Friday at $600,000, with 10 percent needed to post bail, according to the Will County State's Attorney's office. His next court date is March 26 for a preliminary hearing or arraignment.
Prosecutors alleged at Friday's bond hearing that Smith and the student began a conversation on the website Whisper and that one of the questions asked to her by Smith, allegedly purporting to be "Andy," was if she wanted to know how to get a better grade in Smith’s class, authorities said.
Prosecutors alleged after those conversations, the two subsequently traded messages on a software application called Kik and traded either naked or semi-naked pictures of themselves, authorities said.
Plainfield police said only one sexual encounter took place in the middle of February in the storage room, and at this time, police believe it’s the only one to occur.
Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek said the case came to police attention when a friend of the victim contacted Central's school resource officer — a Plainfield police officer — about a week after the alleged storage room incident occurred.
He said police started investigating soon after. The investigation continues, since police want to make sure it’s an isolated case, Konopek said.
“We just want to cover all the bases before we close it finally for prosecution,” he said.
District 202 Spokesman Tom Hernandez said Smith has not been fired and his employment status is still being considered by school officials. Smith will be prohibited from school grounds and has been directed to have no contact with school staff or students pending a decision on his employment.
Smith has not been in class since Feb. 23, according to the district.
The district said it is fully cooperating with an ongoing police investigation. Counseling will be available to students needing it starting Monday.
"At this point in the investigation, it appears that this was an isolated incident," the district said.
Anyone with further information is asked to call the police department at 815-436-6544.