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Mom of teen who had sex with Hammond teacher: ‘He has ruined our life’

Updated: May 1, 2013 2:22PM



The mother of the one the alleged victims of former Morton High School teacher Jon Erik Lilly said his actions have split her family in two.

“I’m losing my daughter over it,” the woman said. “... He has ruined our life and now he has ruined other people’s lives.”

Lilly, 27, of Cedar Lake, was arrested Wednesday after federal law enforcement officials discovered he had sex with the woman’s daughter, identified in the probable cause affidavit as Jane Doe 1, and convinced at least four other of his students to text him photos of themselves in various stages of undress.

Morton suspended Lilly after it first discovered the relationship, and he has since resigned.

The mother says she suspected for several months that her daughter, Jane Doe 1, was having sex with someone after she discovered messages on Jane Doe 1’s Twitter feed about missing someone and lying in their arms.
She had no idea that person was the girl’s teacher Lilly until school officials called her in on Feb. 5.

“Our whole world fell apart,” the mother said.
Her daughter at first denied to her mother and police that she had sex with Lilly and insisted their relationship was just platonic.

But after her first interview with police, Jane Doe 1 begged her mother not to press charges, her mother said. The girl, who has since turned 18, eventually confessed in therapy to having a sexual relationship with Lilly and moved out of the house after her parents moved forward with criminal charges.

“(My daughter) is mad at me, she will be mad at me for a long time,” the mother said. “I understand that.

Jane Doe 1’s mother said she and her husband didn’t want to drop the case partly because they suspected other girls were involved.

The affidavit claims that since the last school year, Lilly contacted at least five of his students through Twitter and text messages and asked them to send him photos.

At least four of them did, although none of them told U.S. Homeland Security Investigations officers it went any further.

One of the students said she thought it was “cool” a teacher liked her but stopped after he started winking at her in school.

Jane Doe 1’s mother said she is upset with Morton officials, partly because she did not find out until Thursday that Lilly was written up in November after a school employee found him sitting in a chair, legs spread open, with Jane Doe 1 sitting on the floor in front of him.

School officials reported Lilly to police after two of Jane Doe 1’s friends reported to them that Lilly and the girl were sexually involved, according to the affidavit.

School City of Hammond Superintendent Walter Watkins said in a release that the school is still cooperating with police in the investigatioin and cannot comment more on the case.

“The welfare of our students is and always will be paramount at the School City of Hammond,” Watkins said in the release. “When anyone presents a possible danger to our students, we will take immediate corrective action and will assist in the pursuit of appropriate sanctions of that person.

Lilly faces charges of possessing sexually explicit photos of a minor and has been ordered held without bond pending a hearing set for Friday afternoon at U.S. District Court in Hammond.



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