Local News

Former music teacher charged with sexually abusing 2 students

A former music teacher at a high school in Palos Heights is charged with sexually abusing two female students.

Kenneth Martin turned himself into police on Monday.

He taught at Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights from 2008 to 2009, and went by the name Kenneth Whitney.

One of his former students reported the abuse to police last April and police have been investigating the case since then.

Martin is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.


38 Comments to “Former music teacher charged with sexually abusing 2 students”

    Jay said:
    April 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I bet "Tired of the Morons" is so proud!

      White Girl said:
      April 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Hi Jay – you beat me to the punch!

    Fed up said:
    April 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    The word castration comes to mind….

    cristina said:
    April 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Can't believe I went to this school while he was teaching! sickening

    Esco said:
    April 2, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Hey teachers, our kids aren't for your sexual enjoyment. If you can't find someone to "love you" in life that's too bad but leave our kids out of it please..

    Real funny said:
    April 3, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    Do what more rape or murder or molest?

    Concerned said:
    April 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    I graduated from this high school, thankfully well before this CREEP was teaching. I pray for the victims and thank the police for sticking with this investigation all the way to the end! I hope this sick man stays behind bars and out of society for a LONG time.

      kid1339 said:
      April 3, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      You graduated from this school before he was teaching there? What has that got to do with anything.

        asdf said:
        April 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        What does your post have to do with anything? She's praying for the "victims" (they weren't victims).

        Sick. said:
        April 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        How are they not victims?? THey were preyed upon and groomed, as CHILDREN by someone who should be held in the highest regard. Teachers are there to protect children while they're in school. Instead, he groomed and manipulated them into thinking otherwise. It will be a long hard road ahead…for all involved. And the girls don't deserve that. They are victims in the saddest form….children. Mindsets like yours, "asdf", are a big problem in today's society.

        kid1339 said:
        April 3, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Could she pray for them with or without being a grad of the school ! I know I did.

        Anna said:
        April 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Why they waited for 3 years to come out with these accusations….they knew what they were getting themselves into

    Sick. said:
    April 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Here's the sick part, which no news has picked up on yet. Ken Martin, formally known as Mr. Whitney, student taught at Prospect High School under Jason Krigas, who at the time was sexually abusing his students. Krigas was fired and later sentenced to 3 years in prison, and Ken Whitney (now Martin) immediately took over at Prospect High School before leaving 2 years later. Disgusting.

    Sick said:
    April 3, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    And then the year after that, Dave Good, also from Prospect, who was dean of students, resigned after several male students came forward and reported sexual incidents when they were in school. It was past the statue of limitations unfortunately so no charges were made.

      anonymous said:
      April 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Mr. Good was found innocent. It was not past statute of limitations. They were false accusations.

        AH Guy said:
        April 3, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        I was told by a police source in the case that it was due to limitations and that is why charges were not pressed. Also because not enough evidence, just kids (now grown adults!) words against his. But he resigned.. so that should be pretty telling too.

    Media Lies said:
    April 3, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Hey, where's the part where he turned himself in? What ever happened to the media telling the truth to the people? Media today can't compete with the views to see old celebrities jump into a pool or watch drunk guidos make a fool of themselves, So they'll stretch any thing into any story to make people watch.

    WGN you make me sick. You just lost a viewer.

      asdf said:
      April 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      How are you defending a kid that has sex with kids….. Media Lies you make me sick. You lost your soul.

      Sick. said:
      April 3, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      He turned himself in after a year long investigation…and a warrant was out because charges were pressed. THATS when he turned himself in. And that was also AFTER his wife divorced him due to the investigation.. which started back in 2009.

    Sick. said:
    April 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    He turned himself in after a year long investigation…and a warrant was out because charges were pressed. THATS when he turned himself in. And that was also AFTER his wife divorced him due to the investigation.. which started back in 2009.

      hey sick said:
      April 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      You must really have it out for this guy don't you?

        Sick said:
        April 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        I have it out for people that take advantage of vulnerable children. I am an educator and this kind of stuff really kills me. You can't protect children from all the evil in the world, but school is the ONE place they should be safe. And anyone who robs them of that safety and trust for the school system, should really rot.

      Luzzycat said:
      April 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      We're did you get all of this infor nation I was informed because he had participated a lot in my school with many groups I was in

    Confused said:
    April 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Can someone tell me why he is going by the name Ken Martin? I know he took the last name Whitney when he got married and so I get that he would change his name after the divorce; however, he taught at Crystal Lake South HS for two years and before he was married, he went by the name Ken Haug…where does the name Martin come in?

      AH Guy said:
      April 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      He wasn't fond of his childhood and was eager to get rid of the name Haug when he married and took his wife's last name, Whitney. Then I'm assuming, when he got divorced, he didn't want to go back to Haug so went with Martin. Perhaps it was his middle name, or he just chose it randomly. He always was a bit odd.

      re: confused said:
      April 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      His step father's name was Haug.

    annonymous said:
    April 3, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Please stop talking about him… thibk of how his family must feel stop discussibg him like you kbnow him so well!!!!!!

    Matthew 7:1 said:
    April 3, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Before you attack this person because of a story you were told, remember this. Someone else was beaten, killed, and wrongly accused of a flawed legal system. So stop feeding the rumor mill. Don't you have better things to do?

      Really?? said:
      April 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      Read the facts. A year long investigation before charges made. Text messages, emails, and video chats. They have all that as proof. The legal system is flawed, but this is not an example of that. This is an example of a flawed education system.

    Dishearted said:
    April 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Mr. Whitney obviously had problems, I mean rumors were that he left Chi High because of a DUI incident. He made some very bad choices as an adult. Most of the teachers and the students at Christian High liked him. He was a "nice guy." Having been in the music program while he taught at Christian High, I know that Mr. Whitney was well liked and he used that to his advantage. It takes a pretty messed up person to do that type of thing. Has anyone stopped to think about that this type of thing may have happened to him when he was as student. People who go through events like that, end up being the very person that they hate. I am in no way defending him, I am just as disgusted and upset as the next guy. I pray that God will work in his heart and that he will find his way back onto the path of Jesus. As to the victims of this, that's what they are, they are victims. They were young students in school under the age on 18 trying to figure out who they are and what their purpose is, in this world. It doesn't take much for a young student to like and trust a teacher who is young and seems to have your best interests in mind, especially when the other teachers are willing to joke around with him and show the students that he can be trusted. Chris Denman, the new band director at that time, seemed to really like him as his friend and when that is visible to the students, that makes students trust the other teacher as well. I pray for my fellow class mates that this happened to. It takes a lot of courage to come forward with something like this and that in itself is commendable. Anyone who says that they are not victims should re-evaluate what they are saying. Yes sex in high school isn't appropriate, but this isn't some high school drama were everyone is talking about how a student had sex with another student. This is someone in authority having sex with students. That fact alone makes them victims. Chicago Christians staff had some of the biggest influences in my life, or at least made the high school experience a little better. Helping us grow in our faith and teach us with the passion that they had. I'm sure this incident affects them as well. I also pray for them as they thought they could trust this guy with students.

    Luzzycat said:
    April 3, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    I'm very disappointed in this because I have recently talked to him in the past year and have built respect for this man but now I find out that he is charged for something that could have happened at my own high school. I'm not accusing of any inappropriate times I and my class metes have been with this man but it is just something that has perplexed me and I do not believe that he is a bad man but who is to judge when I don't know the truth to his story nor the victims of this charge. I hope they bring justice and truth to this his trial soon.

    Anna said:
    April 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Serious you guys? You have no idea what the actual truth is. I believe that mr.whitney gave his phone number just in case they needed to contact him for emergency purposes. A student took advantage of the situation and started talking to him via text and phone calls and met up and what not. Who knows what the conversation is about. Have you ever stopped and thought about what if the students were stalking HIM? And got mad when he confronted them? Why wait til 2012 to make this report after 3 years? And think about this….regardless if he is innocent or guilty or not, he’s name has already been slandered. Just because its a she said, he said situation. And who’s going to believe a teacher after these accusations from a student?

      Accusations said:
      April 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      A student may wait to make a report for a number of reasons. One may be that he was forcing them to keep quiet. Another may be that it takes a great deal of courage to come forth with something like this and it takes an emotional toll on the person. If the student was 16 at the time, wouldn't 3 years make sense to make sure they are aware/smart enough to go about a situation like this? Also it wasn't just ONE student, which makes that stalking situation you brought up improbable. What are the chances that TWO students of different ages would do the same sort of thing?
      You do have a point that in smaller schools that teachers give their number out for emergency cases. But I doubt, if he was smart, that if advances came that way that any typical teacher would ignore that or bring it up with authority at the school instead of taking advantage of it. It isn't unusual for students to have crushes on teachers, but it is up to the Teacher to do the right thing, which in this case he didn't. Also it is said he turned himself in, meaning he admits to the crimes.

    Really?? said:
    April 4, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    The district ALWAYS goes and wants to believe the benefit of the teachers. When there is texting and calls, those are PRINT records. And most carriers will keep records of the texts even after they're deleted so you can see the content. Emails as well. It will all come out in the trial.

    April 4, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    3 years later?
    One girl won't talk?
    Year long investigation? (if you just needed cell/web/computer that doesn't take a year)

    Not his fault he took over a pervs position, don't hold that against him taking the job.

    Hes a great teacher, instructor, musician.

    Ever thought about his story?

    No.. all you do is pass judgments and its SICK.

    Beans said:
    April 4, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Why did he live at 1500 west 83rd pl? Weird. This whole situation is horrible. He was a truly talented musician with an amazing gift. My heart goes out to his wife and kids.

    Confused said:
    April 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    I'm sorry…how does NO ONE else find it perplexing that this man has used THREE names since he began his teaching career?!? THREE NAMES!!!

    If you want to say he's innocent of having sex with an underage girl (he isn't), go ahead. But PLEASE acknowledge that there's something incredibly off about a guy who has changed his last name THREE times. I don't care if he's a musician–He's not John Cougar Mellencamp!

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