Former Simeon student groped by track coach sues school board

SHARE Former Simeon student groped by track coach sues school board

Gerald Gaddy | Cook County sheriff’s office

A woman is suing the Chicago Board of Education and the former Simeon Career Academy track coach convicted of sexually abusing her when she was a student at the school two years ago.

Gerald Gaddy, 44, was charged in July 2014 with assaulting two girls, ages 16 and 17, at the school at 8147 S. Vincennes Ave. several times between January and June 2014, according to Chicago Police. He was convicted in a September bench trial of four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of aggravated battery in a public place, Cook County Circuit Court records show.

At the time of the arrest, a Chicago Public Schools spokesman said Gaddy was a volunteer coach, not an employee. The suit filed Monday claims he was paid for his work with the girls track team and that he abused the plaintiff, who is listed as Jane Roe, between February 2013 and June 2014. CPS representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

The victim says Gaddy, on separate occasions, touched her inappropriately while rubbing her legs after a race, groped her in gym class and at practice, and told her to “leave the young boys alone and get with a real man.”

The six-count suit claims school officials failed to do a background check in hiring Gaddy. Records show he has at least three felony drug convictions dating back to 1996.

Roe also alleges other employees knew about his behavior and did nothing to protect her. She is seeking more than $300,000 in damages.

Another suit was filed against Gaddy and the school board by a victim’s mother in October 2014. That case is still pending, records show.

Gaddy, of the 8200 block of South Maryland, remains held at the Cook County Jail awaiting sentencing. His next court date is Nov. 1.

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