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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Former Waters Elementary Teacher Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Student Rejects Plea Deal

Jason Gil's case is headed to trial unless a new plea bargain is reached. Parents have called on prosecutors to not give him leniency.

Thomas J Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave.
Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN SQUARE — A former Lincoln Square elementary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student and possessing child pornography rejected a plea deal Thursday. 

In 2019, prosecutors charged Jason Gil, a former Waters Elementary teacher, with felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, solicitation to meet a child, solicitation of child pornography, possession of child pornography, distribution of harmful materials and grooming, according to court documents. 

Adam Sheppard, one of Gil’s attorneys, rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors during a virtual hearing Thursday before Cook County Judge Anjana Hansen, who set the case for trial.

“Mr. Gil remains hopeful to reach a resolution short of trial. However, the current offer is not one that is acceptable at this juncture,” Sheppard told Block Club after the hearing.

It’s unclear what the plea deal comprised. Prosecutors declined comment.

Gil has been out on electronic monitoring since 2020 and has stayed out of trouble, Sheppard said.

Prosecutors previously argued Gil, 45, took advantage of his trusted position as an educator to abuse the minor, and previously presented the court a text message Gil reportedly sent to the victim referring to the sexual assaults.

Gil allegedly had 25 naked photos of the student on his phone and sexually assaulted his former student on at least two instances, prosecutors said. 

RELATED: Don’t Go Easy On Teacher Accused Of Molesting Student, Waters Elementary School Parents Urge Prosecutors

Ahead of the hearing, more than 300 parents signed a petition asking Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to not offer Gil a plea deal for a reduced punishment and instead “prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

“It’s just something that people are anxious to see a resolution on and for him to accept some responsibility, which hasn’t happened yet in any public way,” said Melissa McGowan, one of the parent organizers. 

Gil’s rejection of plea deal appears to be another “delaying tactic” by his attorneys, said Erica Smith, another parent organizer.

“It indicates that he doesn’t have any remorse because going to trial absolutely would re-traumatize the victim,” Smith said. 

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