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Former LFHS Staffer Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of Students

The former adviser to the theater tech crew was sentenced to probation, community service and counseling.

Courtesy of the Lake Forest Police Department
Courtesy of the Lake Forest Police Department

A former Lake Forest High School employee has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for inappropriate contact with two female students, who were 17 at the time, according to an article in the Daily Herald.

Benjamin Davidson, 31, was charged last summer with criminal sexual abuse, child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse after a two-month investigation by Lake Forest police after they received a complaint from a parent. He was the advisor for the drama department’s audio/visual services, supervising a staff of students and volunteers.

In pleading guilty as part of a plea deal, which was approved by the victims, Davidson avoids jail time. He was sentenced to 30 months probation, 150 hours of community service, and sex abuse counseling, the Daily Herald article says. He must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

You can read the full Daily Herald story here.

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Celerino Abad-Zapatero April 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM
I am a Lake Forest resident that commutes to Chicago regularly. In the past, there used to be an excellent WIFI service at the East train station (LFGuest) that now it seems that has been discontinued, or is not working properly. Can the city look into this? I found this service extremely valuable for the daily commuters. Thank you so much. Cele.
Celerino Abad-Zapatero April 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM
The story about the LFHS offender has an inconsistency in the number of hours of community service that Mr. Davidson has to serve. The story in the Patch mentions 1,500; the Daily Herald says 150. What is the correct number? Cele.
Emily Stone April 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Hi Cele, Thanks for pointing that out. The Herald must have changed that number since yesterday. I've updated it. -Emily
David April 28, 2014 at 08:26 AM
i don't understand how someone with the convictions this person has can possibly avoid jail time, just because the victims "pardoned him." Isn't this an egregious crime against society in a larger sense and so subject to imprisonment, despite the personal benevolence of the minors' guardians? Can someone please explain to the legally challenged?
LisaJoinPatch April 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM
David, I totally agree with you. This kind of behavior is the ultimate betrayal to society. We need to be able to trust that our children will be safe at school and at school activities. When that trust is breached, the perpetrator must be punished severely so that a message is sent out to the world that we won't tolerate anyone taking advantage of our children.

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