LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — A former paraprofessional employed by the Special Education District of Lake has been accused of sexually assaulting girl with disabilities while on the job.
Israel Suaste-Gonzalez, 49, of the 19000 block of Cambridge Road in unincorporated Lake County, was ordered on $2 million bail following his court appearance Tuesday morning.
Authorities believe Suaste-Gonzalez sexually molested a girl with physical and intellectual disabilities from 2016 to 2018. The victim referred to Suaste-Gonzalez as her teacher during that time and added she felt she was required to be involved because her teacher kept telling her to do so.
“Adults who sexually assault or abuse people with intellectual or physical disabilities and children are among the absolute worst offenders we see through our office,” State’s Attorney Nerheim said. “Our hearts go out to the victim and the family. We applaud her courage in coming forward.”
Authorities said during the bond hearing that Suaste-Gonzalez denied the allegations when first interviewed by police, but later admitted to sexually abusing the student on at least five occasions.
The victim said Suaste-Gonzalez allegedly told her to not tell anyone.
Suaste-Gonzalez has officially been charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a class X felony. In addition, he is charged with four counts criminal sexual assault, a class one felony, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class 2 felony.