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Suit: Man says he was sexually abused by CPS employee while a student

A man who says he was sexually abused while a student at two Lawndale neighborhood schools more than two decades ago has filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education.

Between 1988 and 1994, the man was a student at Johnson Elementary School, 1420 S. Albany St., and then Collins Academy High School, 1313 S. Sacramento Drive, according to the suit, which was filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court under the name John Doe.

While a student, Doe said he was sexually abused by Marvin Lovett, a CPS employee involved with organizing and running in-school programs, on multiple occasions between 1988 and 1993, according to the suit. Doe first met Lovett while a student at Johnson Elementary, despite Lovett having been dismissed from another CPS school around 1988 “for engaging in inappropriate behavior with students.”

While employed by CPS, Lovett’s behavior included removing male students from their classes to spend time with them unsupervised and inviting them over to his apartment for “sleepovers,” the suit said.

A spokesman for CPS declined to comment on pending litigation.

Lovett was shot and killed in April 2000. Sylvester Jamison, who was 17 at the time and a former Johnson Elementary student, was convicted of Lovett’s murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Jamison is currently serving an 11-year sentence for a separate crime at the Illinois River Correctional Center, according to court and Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Jamison said he had been in a sexual relationship with Lovett since he was 12, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 2014.

During the investigation into Lovett’s death, detectives discovered 140 adult videotapes showing Lovett engaged in sex with boys, including Johnson Elementary students.

The abuse was the subject of lawsuit against United Airlines in 2014, in which multiple men claimed they were abused by Lovett while they participated in the Believers mentoring program sponsored by the United Airlines Foundation, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The men claimed that while students at Johnson Elementary they participated in the mentoring program and were given alcohol and drugs by Lovett and were sexually abused.

In the suit filed Tuesday, Doe said CPS officials failed to create and communicate policies to prevent or allow reporting of inappropriate conduct between adults and minor students. Further, Doe said, CPS failed to supervise Lovett properly and continued to employ him despite knowledge of his unfitness for employment with children.

Doe said the sexual abuse caused him physical harm, emotional distress and the loss of a normal life, according to the suit. He seeks more than $50,000 in damages.