A Chicago Public Schools elementary school teacher was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison for molesting a boy in Indiana
A Chicago Public Schools elementary school teacher who was on the job last year despite being previously accused of inappropriately touching students was sentenced Monday to 50 years in federal prison for molesting a young boy in Indiana whom he’d met online.
Pedro Ibarra, 48, of Elk Grove Village, was sentenced in US District Court in Indianapolis, where he pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child.
In June 2021, Ibarra was a third grade, dual-language teacher at Alessandro Volta Elementary School in Albany Park when he engaged in a Google Duo online chat with a then-12-year-old boy who lived in Indiana, according to federal court records.
The next day, Ibarra drove from Illinois to Hancock County, Indiana, where he picked up the victim and took him to a local hotel, according to federal prosecutors. There, Ibarra performed sex acts on the child while recording it with his cellphone, prosecutors said.
In addition to that video, investigators found multiple recordings on Ibarra’s phone of him “engaged in sexually explicit conduct” with another victim who was later identified as a 15-year-old who lives in Illinois, according to prosecutors.
In a statement Monday, CPS said Ibarra had worked at Volta Elementary from August 2016 to Nov. 25, 2021, when he was suspended without pay. “The district is pursuing termination and the case is currently ongoing,” the emailed statement read.
In April 2019, more than two years before he was suspended, Ibarra was arrested by Chicago police on allegations that he’d grabbed the buttocks of a 9-year-old female pupil on different occasions at school, federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo last week.
In an interview with forensic investigators, the girl reported she’d told her mom what had happened and “her parents went to the school and talked to the principal about it,” according to the prosecution filing.
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“She named Ibarra as the teacher, said he squeezed her bottom more than one time, and on another occasion, she asked to use the restroom and Ibarra touched her bottom,” the filing stated.
The children’s mother, however, said she “did not report what her daughter told her to the school because she thought it was too late and the school would not believe her,” the filing stated.
Meanwhile, the girl’s then-10-year-old brother said Ibarra had done the same thing to him on at least two occasions when he was in fifth grade, according to the prosecution memo. Two of the brother’s former classmates told investigators he’d also told them that Ibarra touched him inappropriately, prosecutors said.
After Ibarra was arrested and advised of his Miranda rights, he requested to speak with an attorney and the interview ended.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office rejected felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, so the detective instead filed two misdemeanor battery charges, listing the brother and sister as victims, according to court records.
Cook County Associate Judge Clarence Burch found Ibarra not guilty of the charges in a bench trial on March 4, 2020, court records show.
CPS officials did not immediately address Monday whether it had been aware of the Cook County allegations.