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Wheatley’s Sexual Abuse Conviction and the Shiloh School Board –

November 13, 2014   ·   11 Comments

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EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When we first reported on Dr. John Wheatley (here) and the fact that he had been arrested, charged, and convicted of criminal sexual abuse and battery of a 16 year old girl, shock-waves were felt throughout the Shiloh School District.

Some were from disbelief of being deceived by Wheatley, and some were from the realization that their elected school board did nothing to protect their children from a sexual abuser.

We talked to several school board members at the time, and one of them stated that he “could only recall the issue was shared during the interview process but was told no charges were filed. We did, however, verify that they were fully aware of the following:

1. That Wheatley had disclosed his arrest to them, but he said that he was innocent, said no charges were filed, and that he denied being convicted of the crime and claimed it was a misunderstanding.

2.  That they hired him because he was the least expensive of the options they had.

If the above two statements were true, then they were justified in hiring him and retaining him.

However, what we discovered, informed the board of, and published was that

he had lied to the board during the hiring process. We found the following:

1.  Wheatley had been found guilty of Criminal sexual abuse and battery of a 16 year old girl, who was a student at the school where Wheatley was employed as a school counselor – Thornton High School (1989).

2. That the Illinois State Board of Education has featured him on their web-site (here), in an articled entitled: “Complete Criminal Histories of Teachers can be Hard to Find” and I will quote it for you: “For example, Thornton school counselor John E. Wheatley was convicted of sexual battery in 1989, according to Cook County records. This misdemeanor conviction didn’t prevent him from subsequently being hired by four other Illinois school districts. Wheatley resigned from Chicago Public Schools three months ago after eight years of service there. But he still is licensed to teach in Illinois. Media accounts at the time of his conviction said he took a 16-year-old Thornwood High School girl, for whom he was a counselor, to a hotel room. But because Wheatley’s files are sealed there is no way for the public to independently verify these accounts without obtaining a court order. Wheatley did not return a reporter’s calls for comment.”

3.  Wheatley was featured on the web-site Hidden Violations that showed the documents, where in 2007, he attempted to get his convictions of Criminal sexual abuse and battery expunged (here). That expungement attempt was denied by the court. Why? Simple, because you cannot get something expunged from your criminal records when you were found guilty of the crime!

 Dana Hales’ comments to the Prairie Press

Mr. Hales comments to the Prairie Press, according to Tay Smith, would lead the uninformed reader to think that Wheatley simply resigned and retired. That his outing as a convicted pervert had absolutely nothing to do with it. That the board simply wanted to move in a different direction. Hales verified to me that he did say that to Gary Henry, a reporter for the Prairie Press.

Those comments lead me to ask this question of the Shiloh School Board:

Are you really telling the parents, whose children you are tasked with keeping safe and educating, that the board, knowing they hired a person that lied to them about being a convicted criminal sexual abuser who took a 16 year old student to a hotel room, that they would have renewed his contract as superintendent and principal had there been no other issues between him and the District? Is that really what you are saying? That you would knowingly put children at risk?

When we first published what we found on him, it never crossed our minds that a school board would knowingly provide a convicted pervert with unsupervised access to the children of the Shiloh School District. We still do not believe that to be true, but with the quotes in the Prairie Press, we are starting to think otherwise.

We stand by what was written in the FORBES article (click here).

ShilohSchoolDistrict

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. Former Student says:

    Thanks! Finally someone says something about this! I’m so glad I got out of that school when I did b/c this is down right terrible. The students were well aware of this and I got the news of this through them while I was there. They even said what site to visit. The school board is terrible. Anytime we had problems, they did hardly anything. They would basically tell us that there is nothing they can do unless someone else says it has happened to them as well. I’m just glad someone finally wrote a story on this. Stuff like this shouldn’t be allowed to slide. I don’t care if he was the ‘least expensive’ to hire; the children’s safety should come first. I know I didn’t feel all that safe there.

     Reply
  2. Mr. Burr says:

    Again, I have to ask, who wrote letters for him at pre-sentencing or for the probation report? 6 months & then the file has a seal? C’mon.
    What is the opinion of our illustrious state’s attorney on the matter?
    I think, unfortunately, an expungement may entitle the former convict to say he has not been convicte. But how are the school reps to explain their actions?

     Reply
    • jmkraft says:

      This happened in Cook County in ’89 and his attempt to expunge the records was denied by a Cook County Judge. Why the school board continued to allow him to work is beyond my imagination.

       Reply
  3. Unacorda says:

    It happened to me in Illinois. I finally reported it this past August and was told by a police department that because of my birth date and when things happened, nothing could be done to press any criminal charges against the (now retired, living out-of-state) teacher. They referred me to this document: http://www.icasa.org/docs/statute%20of%20limitations.pdf & said that because I don’t make it past step 1 of the “formula” listed on page 3, my case is not viable. Although the laws recently (thankfully) changed to have NO statute of limitations for sex crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2014, there have unfortunately got to be others in addition to myself that fall through the cracks, even with the other prior update to Statute of Limitations being made that survivors have until their 38th birthday to report. Thank you for your work.

     Reply
  4. None says:

    Wait… So the Shiloh school board covered up something in order to save a few bucks and not bring any attention to itself? No, impossible. Then again, I’m not too surprised since I was beaten by both my parents and sent to TLC after being told by different faculty members at the school that I was in a safe place and, after confessing all my sins, watched in horror as they told my physically, emotionally, verbally and mentally abusive parents what I had told them. I mean, that’s just crazy to think a school, made up of five (at my time) small towns would practice small town politics with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. But…then again, you get what you pay for, even in small town politics.

     Reply
  5. Jacob Roskovensky says:

    I find it so interesting that a quality journalist can’t travel to Hume to get a picture to put with the article. Instead, you rip the picture off their website. I do hope you asked their permission to use their picture. You didn’t even give them credit for their picture.

     Reply
    • jmkraft says:

      The picture is public property. I do not have to get permission to use anything from their website. Is that the best you can do? I chose to stay “green” and not burn up fossil fuels in order to get a picture that is already available and free to use. Just doing my best to help the environment.

       Reply
      • Kurt henigman says:

        Heaven forbid you burn excess fossil fuels.

         Reply
  6. pratt608 says:

    you guys are doing good work. a job that no one else wants to do or cannot do, and yet needs to be done.

     Reply
    • jmkraft says:

      Thanks.

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      • Watching says:

        Well done Sir! I for one am sick to the back teeth of the cowards in our communities that would stoop so low as to let these scumbags have anything to do with our youth. Clean up your communities folks…. its what you CAN do! The trickle up effect will be devastating to the corruption.

         Reply




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