Tutor charged with fondling child in his care while out on bail for similar case

SHARE Tutor charged with fondling child in his care while out on bail for similar case

When a Chicago family learned the man they’d hired to tutor their 7-year-old was being accused of sexually abusing another student, they spoke to their own child and their worst fears were realized.

Now, the northwest Indiana man is charged with sexually abusing a second child he was hired to tutor, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Brett Zagorac, 33, of Munster, was charged Friday with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for the incidents that occurred at the home of the 7-year-old in 2014 and 2015, a statement from prosecutors said. He was charged with the same offense involving a 9-year-old in October 2015 in the north suburbs.

In court Friday, he was ordered held on a $100,000 bond for the latest charge.

In August 2014, Zagorac was hired to tutor the 7-year-old and a 10-year-old sibling, which he did during sessions once a week through the 2014-15 school year, occasionally over the summer, and then weekly again when the school year resumed last fall, prosecutors said. Lessons took place in the dining room with other family members present in the house.

In October 2015, the child’s parent learned of Zagorac’s arrest for fondling the other child, and spoke to their own children. The victim said that “on multiple occasions Zagorac had reached under the victim’s shirt and rubbed the victim’s lower back and that Zagorac had pulled the victim into his lap while the victim completed homework,” prosecutors said.

In the earlier case, Zagorac was hired by a family in November 2014 to tutor a then 9-year-old once a week. During the sessions, while a parent was in the house, he would “place his hand on the victim’s back and make statements like ‘good job’ while the victim was solving a problem,” prosecutors said.

About a month later, the victim’s parents went out and left Zagorac to baby-sit the child and a sibling.

“After the victim went to bed, Zagorac entered the victim’s bedroom and fondled the victim over pajamas,” prosecutors said.

When the victim’s parent became aware that Zagorac had a criminal record in DuPage County, Cook County and in Indiana, they spoke to their child and “found out about the fondling incident,” prosecutors said.

Zagorac’s next court date for the first case is April 14 at the Skokie Courthouse. His next hearing on the new case is March 10.

His criminal history includes misdemeanor battery convictions in DuPage County (2005), Indiana (2009) and Cook County (2010) for similar crimes, prosecutors said.

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