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Ex-CPS worker gets 10 years for sexually assaulting student

Idris L. Bridgeforth. Photo from Chicago Police.

Idris L. Bridgeforth. Photo from Chicago Police.

A former Chicago Public Schools employee convicted of sexually assaulting and sending suggestive texts to a 14-year-old student was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday.

Idris L. Bridgeforth, 42, was found guilty Aug. 21 of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation following a bench trial before Judge Erica Reddick, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported.

On Tuesday, Reddick sentenced him to a total of 10 years in prison, court records show.

The victim trusted Bridgeforth, who was her basketball and softball coach at Ashburn Elementary School, Cook County prosecutors said at the time of his 2012 arrest.

The Riverdale resident was a paraprofessional, or career service employee, at the school in the 8300 block of South Saint Louis Avenue, CPS officials said. He also was Ashburn’s technology director, but was removed from the school following his arrest.

When Bridgeforth gave the girl a ride home from practices and sporting events between December 2011 and June 2012, he often fondled her, prosecutors said.

Bridgeforth also sent the girl suggestive text messages, including one that indicated he “wanted her for his birthday.”

The girl’s mother eventually found a text and contacted the school.

Bridgeforth, a father of two, was previously discharged from the U.S. Army for making false official statements, larceny and presenting a false claim, according to prosecutors.

He will be given credit for nearly 2 1/2 years spent in Cook County Jail since his arrest, court records show.