A registered child sex offender who works for the Chicago Department of Public Health was released on his own recognizance Thursday after being accused of being on the grounds of two Chicago Public Schools for job-related activities.
Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. told Terrence Sheahan, 47, that he needs to be responsible in ensuring that he doesn’t violate the terms of sex offender laws by going to a school where there can be children under 18 present. Sheahan was charged with a felony for violating sex offender laws.
But the judge also added that Sheahan’s actions were “not something you initiated on your own.”
Sheahan went to Roberto Clemente High, 1147 N. Western, to respond to a hazardous materials situation on Dec. 14, Assistant State’s Attorney Molly Donnelly said.
Then, on July 22, he attended a work training session at South Shore College Prep, 1955 E. 75th, Donnelly said.
After the July training session, Sheahan’s supervisor learned he was a registered sex offender and notified police that he went to the schools where minor students had been present, Donnelly said.
Sheahan worked as an electrical engineer for the city’s Department of Environment when he was convicted and sentenced to two years probation for soliciting a minor.
Sheahan thought he was talking to a 15-year-old boy in an online chat room on Sept. 12, 2002, and agreed to meet him later that night so he could perform a sex act on him. Sheahan was actually talking to a police officer. So when he arrived at the meeting place, he was arrested.
As a result of his 2007 conviction, Sheahan has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Last month, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell wrote about how a tipster complained that Sheahan, a Haz Mat coordinator and environmental engineer at the CDPH, was at South Shore for the day-long sessions.
A CDPH spokeswoman wasn’t available for comment Thursday.
But Cristina Villarreal told Mitchell in an email in August: “It is unacceptable and unlawful for sex offenders to be present in Chicago schools. Upon learning of this incident, CDPH filed a police report and requested the inspector general to conduct a full investigation.”
“CDPH will fully cooperate with both the Chicago Police Department and the inspector general. Additionally, the individual had a responsibility to notify his supervisor that he was unable to participate in this particular work event, yet he failed to do so.”