Families of nine girls who say they were “bound, gagged, and molested” by a suburban Chicago band teacher were recently awarded a $3.5 million verdict by a federal jury. The families sued both the former band teacher, Robert Sperlik, and the former principal of the Berwyn school where Mr. Sperlik taught. (Chicago Sun Times, 7/9).
The lawsuit claimed “the principal knew about the abuse and intentionally hid information about the allegations. The families also claimed the district failed to uphold its responsibilities to the victims.” Police investigations uncovered previous letters of reprimand from the school instructing Mr. Sperlik to “quit the inappropriate touching.” This knowledge was never forwarded to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services or the Police.
Robert Sperlik is currently service a 20-year prison sentence after he plead guilty in 2006 to the sexual abuse and kidnapping of more than 20 girls, some who were as young as nine.
As a personal injury attorney I am extremely disappointed by the careless disregard of the seemingly many red flags regarding Mr. Sperlik. I am hopeful that such important information will not be kept undercover in the future as many young girls suffered as a result.