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Teacher at Elgin day care charged with sexually abusing students

<i>WLS</i><br/>A teacher at an Elgin day care is charged with abusing at least two students over the span of more than 13 years
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WLS
A teacher at an Elgin day care is charged with abusing at least two students over the span of more than 13 years

By Eric Horng

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    ELGIN, Illinois (WLS) — A teacher at an Elgin day care is charged with abusing at least two students over the span of more than 13 years, according to prosecutors.

Frank Walaitis, 57, of Carpentersville is charged with six counts of felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Kane County prosecutors said Walaitis sexually abused two children under the age of 13 from December 2008 to July 2022 while working as a teacher at the Learning Tree Elgin West day care center on Royal Blvd.

“I was so disgusted,” said one parent whose child goes to the center. “I was shaky.”

ABC7 is not identifying this parent by her request, but her child was a student at The Learning Tree Elgin-West who was cared for by Walaitis in the four- and five-year-old classroom as recently as this summer. Her child is not one of the two alleged victims.

“Us sending our children to day care, you want to think that they’re safe,” she said.

Authorities said the alleged abuse happened at the day care center.

Prosecutors have not released any further details, but are concerned there could be more victims and officials said the investigation remains active. Prosecutors ask anyone with information about Walaitis to contact the Kane County Child Advocacy center, which is conducting the investigation with the help of Elgin police.

In a statement, the Learning Tree regional director said, “The safety and wellbeing of the children in our care is our highest priority. We are working closely with the authorities in this investigation. The employee had passed the State’s required background check multiple times during his employment.”

And added, “The employee was removed from the center as soon as the allegations were made, and his employment has been terminated.”

The regional director also said that Walaitis had passed the required Illinois background check “multiple times during his employment.” In a letter sent to parents Tuesday the day care said police “reopened a previously closed case from 2008” during this investigation, “in which no criminal charges were filed against” Walaitis.

The Learning Tree said he was cleared to return to work in 2008 by both police and DCFS.

A spokesperson for the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office said some of the charges that have been filed involve that 2008 case that has now been reopened.

Walaitis remains in custody and is being held on $200,000 bond.

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