JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow today announced that a Manhattan woman has been charged with six counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, as well as one count of Indecent Solicitation of a Child and one count of Unlawful Grooming in connection with an alleged sexual relationship involving a 14-year-old male.
The woman, 50-year-old Dayna Chidester of the 25400 block of O’Connel Lane in Manhattan, was a high school teacher at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood at the time the alleged conduct occurred. The victim is not a Reed-Custer student.
Chidester was taken into custody Thursday following an investigation by the Manhattan Police Department, with assistance from State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit and the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Forensic interviews, therapy, and counseling involving those affected occurred at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.
If convicted, she faces up to 7 years for each count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, up to 5 years for the count of Indecent Solicitation, and up to 3 years for the Unlawful Grooming count.
During the investigation, the victim stated that the relationship with Chidester included messages and photos sent electronically, as well as sexual physical contact on numerous occasions. The Defendant confirmed that text messages and photos were sent electronically and that sexual physical contact had occurred with the victim.
Bond was set at $1 million on Friday. The defendant must post 10 percent, or $100,000, to secure release while awaiting trial. Additionally, as a condition of Defendant’s bond, if she is able to post required amount, the Defendant must refrain from contact with any minors outside of immediate family members as well as from entering school grounds, is prohibited from using the internet or any device with internet capabilities, and must turn over her passport.
The Will County State’s Attorney reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.