A Chicago Public Schools security officer sexually abused students at the Southwest Side high school where he works, prosecutors said.
Walter Wells, 34, is accused of grabbing female students’ breasts and buttocks over a period of several years at Hubbard High School, 6200 S. Hamlin Ave. Many of the incidents occurred when Wells would hug the students in the hallways and inappropriately touch them, prosecutors said.
Six victims told police that Wells had assaulted them, with some of the attacks dating back to September 2010. Some of the victims were as young as 14 when the incidents started, Assistant State’s Attorney Alexandra Molesky said Saturday in bond court. Police records show that five of the victims are now 17 and one is 18.
Molesky detailed several of the alleged attacks, all of which took place over the student’s clothing. As recently as this January, Molesky said Wells approached a student getting food from a vending machine, started talking to her and then put his hand on her buttocks.
Police became involved in the case early this year, prosecutors said, though Wells wasn’t arrested until Friday afternoon. Shortly after the investigation started, Molesky said Wells approached one of the victims and asked what she’d told police.
When the student told Wells she hadn’t said anything, prosecutors said the security guard smiled and said, “That’s my girl.”
Wells, of the 7300 block of South Claremont Avenue, faces two counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse and six felony counts of aggravated battery in a public place.
Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered him jailed Saturday in lieu of $250,000 bail.
The most recent CPS employees roster shows Wells employed as a security guard at the West Lawn neighborhood school, where he earns $31,008 a year. On the school’s website, he is listed as the coach of the boys’ swimming and water polo teams at Hubbard.
District spokesman Joel Hood didn’t respond Saturday afternoon to a message seeking Wells’ current status with CPS.