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from www.rrstar.com – BELVIDERE — A Belvidere North High School teacher has been charged with having sexual contact with one of her 17-year-old female students.
Jenee A. Blackert, 30, of Poplar Grove was charged Thursday with four counts of criminal sexual assault. She faces four to 15 years in prison if found guilty of the Class 1 felonies.
According to the complaint, two of the four encounters occurred between March 1 and 16 and two encounters occurred June 28, all off school grounds.
Blackert, who has worked for the School District since 2008, has been put on unpaid leave, Superintendent Michael Houselog said. She is listed as a social studies teacher on the district’s website.
The district is cooperating with investigators. School officials are not notifying parents or staff because “it is not our information to share,” Houselog said.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department learned of the alleged incident July 28. The Boone County state’s attorney’s office authorized the charges.
Blackert’s bail was set at $50,000. She paid the required 10 percent, or $5,000, to bond out of jail Thursday.
A hearing is scheduled Aug. 23 at the Boone County Courthouse.
It marks the second time in six years that a Belvidere School District teacher has been charged with a sexual crime involving a student.
Loren Leoni, who taught English at Belvidere High School, pleaded guilty in 2009 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse after having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy in December 2007. She was sentenced to 48 months’ probation and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.