School district sued for sexual abuse by former teacher

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Lawsuits have been filed against a northern Illinois school district by five former students who allege they were sexually abused by a former teacher.

John Bollman says in a lawsuit filed in Lake County Circuit Court that officials of District 65 in Lake Bluff did nothing to stop the abuse by Charles Ritz, and even concealed it. Bollman says he was a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Lake Bluff Junior High School in 1981 when Ritz abused him.

The lawsuits by Bollman and the others say Ritz was allowed to “quietly resign” in 1985.

Bollman began a group to locate others who had been abused. They worked with authorities to get charges filed against Ritz in May 2017. Ritz pleaded guilty to misdemeanor indecency and received two years of probation.

In a statement Thursday, the school district expressed sadness over the events described in the lawsuits, adding it will “defend these claims in court.”