Two former Gavin Elementary District 37 teachers accused of failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a student by a former colleague pleaded not guilty to the charge in Lake County court Thursday, the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
April Courtney, of Wauconda, and Michael Lanners, of Lake Villa, appeared in front of two different judges Thursday. A third teacher involved in the case, John Keehan, of Elgin, is due to appear in court on the same charge and plead not guilty on Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Each teacher is charged with one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse. If they are found guilty, they could be sentenced up to one year in jail.
Arrests warrants were issued for the former teacher Nov. 14 for failing to report suspected child sexual abuse by former teacher Michael Vucic. Vucic is accused of having a sexual relationship with a Gavin South Middle School student.
Authorities said Vucic, who taught social studies at Gavin South for 18 years, was arrested in September in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but is fighting extradition to the U.S.
He faces five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and five counts of criminal sexual assault.
According to authorities, the student told her grandparents earlier this year she had sexual contact with Vucic several times in 2012.
By law, teachers are required to report suspected child sexual abuse. I commend this brave young victim for coming forward and I applaud authorities for sending a strong message that child safety must always come first.
The best way to protect children is to expose predators and the institutions that protect them.