Former suburban coach charged with criminal sexual assault

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HARVEY, Ill. —  A  former suburban high school coach was arrested and charged Thursday with criminal sexual assault.

Jason Hardy was a gym teacher and softball coach at Thornton Township High School in Harvey.

Police said he is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault. An arrest warrant was issued for him last month but he was just taken into custody Thursday at the Markham courthouse. WGN News was told he was in court for another case involving a former Thornton student.

Diamond Randall, who is now 18, said in May 2018, Hardy inappropriately touched her at school. She immediately reported to the incident to a dean.

“I was hurt real hurt,” Randall said. “Because I genuinely trusted him. I used to talk to him about problems everything.”

The district placed Hardy on administrative leave.

Randall and her mother DeBorah Reeves said the school dropped the ball on the allegations and it wasn’t until several months later after they went directly to Harvey Police that Hardy was charged with misdemeanor battery because Police said at the time there was no proof the touch was sexual in nature.

Reeves also posted about it on Facebook and she received a message from the relative of another former student who is now 26-years-old.

That former student told WGN News she was in a sexual relationship with Hardy starting when she was 17 and a junior at Thornton. She said Hardy was in his 30s. She said she became pregnant twice and both times she said Hardy took her to get abortions.

After hearing Randall’s story, she said she felt that she had to talk about what happened to her and that resulted in the sexual assault charge against Hardy.

Randall and her mother hope their story encourages others to come forward.

WGN News reached out to the school district for comment but have not heard back.

Hardy is due in bond court Friday.

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