A Rockford area middle school teacher faces sexual abuse charges. She turned herself in to the Boone County Sheriff's Department Tuesday.
This case involves multiple school districts, cities, and counties in the area. Darcee Baney has been a Harlem Middle School 7th grade science teacher since the '08-'09 school year. During her first year at Harlem, she also worked at Belividere High School as a varsity high school girls' basketball coach. She's charged with 10 counts related to sexual abuse. That's five incidents, two counts each, one count for aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and one for criminal sexual abuse. Her crimes allegedly occurred during her coaching at Belvidere High School. The victim, who was 17 at the time, was one of Baney's players.
Rockford Police Department Lieutenant Marc Welsh says that victim came forward early August of this year to Belividere police. But, the incidents Baney is accused of happened in Rockford, so Belvidere P.D. contacted Rockford police, who took over the case, with Illinois State Police assistance, since multiple jurisdictions are involved. While Belvidere Superintendent Michael Houselog could not comment on these allegations, Harlem Superintendent Dr. Julie Morris says she couldn't believe when she heard the news.
"This is really unfortunate, and this is really difficult for people to work through and understand. I want to reiterate the importance of knowing that our students and their safety is our number one priority." -says Dr. Morris.
There is one known victim at this time, but the investigation is on-going. Dr. Morris says children should bring forward any knowledge that relates to this case if they have it.
"I'm asking students if they have information or a concern to come forward to an adult in their building, a principal, a teacher, so we can obtain any information that we would need if there was any out there. Parents can call my office with any questions or concerns." -she adds.
Baney posted a $1,000 bond Tuesday after she turned herself in to the Boone County Sheriff's Department. Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato could not comment why she turned herself in there and not in Winnebago County where the crimes are supposed to have taken place.
Darcee Baney is still currently employed by the Harlem School District, she has been on paid administrative leave since school administrators became aware of the investigation. That was September 5th.
She's due in Winnebago County court October 31st.
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