A former Chicago high school teacher and coach was arrested last week after being accused last year of inappropriately touching a female student during gym class. A another woman told police he had allegedly impregnated her twice while she was a high school student.
Jason Hardy, 42, a former gym teacher and softball coach at Thornton Township High School who resigned last December, was arrested Thursday and charged with criminal sexual assault, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Hardy allegedly initiated sexual contact with the victim, who was one of his softball players, in 2010 while she was a 17-year-old student at the High School, located the Chicago suburb of Harvey.
The unidentified woman, who is now 26, reportedly told police Hardy got her pregnant twice during their sexual relationship and she had abortions both times. She also told police she didn’t report him at the time because she was afraid of jeopardizing Hardy’s career and of being facing judgment if others knew she had several abortions as a teen.
Diamond Randall accused Hardy of inappropriately touching her in school in May 2018. She told the Daily Southtown Hardy allegedly reached under her shirt and caressed her back twice during gym class. In September 2018, Randall’s mother, DeBorah Reeves, posted on Facebook.
After the incident, Reeves removed her daughter from Thornton and filed a report with Harvey police. Hardy was charged with misdemeanor battery on Sept. 8, according to the Tribune.
The mother said in addition to her daughter, a number of former Thornton students contacted her about Hardy’s alleged inappropriate behavior.
Another woman who spoke to WGN News said she was a 16-year-old student when Hardy touched her genitals through her swimsuit. Although she never reported the incident, she said she never went back to his class.
District officials released a statement saying they were “shocked and saddened” by Hardy’s arrest and were cooperating with law enforcement.
On April 18, a warrant was issued for Hardy’s arrest on the criminal sexual assault charges and executed last week when Hardy appeared in court on the battery charges.
Hardy appeared in bond court Friday, where his bail was set at $50,000. He posted the required 10% the same day and was released from custody, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman said.
He will appear in court on the criminal sexual assault charges on June 7 and on the battery charges June 25.