Two brothers, both students at a west suburban high school, have filed a lawsuit against the district and board of education, alleging they were both molested by a cafeteria monitor who has since been charged with the crime.
Joi Taylor, 32, of Chicago, faces charges of criminal sexual assault in a position of authority and indecent solicitation of a child, according to Hillside police.
Taylor was hired as a lunchroom monitor at Proviso West High School in March, according to prosecutors. Shortly after being hired, she met a 16-year-old male student and the two exchanged phone numbers.
The two began calling each other and using an application that allowed them to see each other during the conversations, prosecutors said. During most of the calls, Taylor would appear naked from the waist up and would masturbate while talking to the teen.
Later in March, Taylor called the student one day before first period class and asked him to meet for sex, prosecutors said. She met him in the school parking lot and drove them to a nearby church parking lot, where she performed a sex act on the student. She then drove him back to school.
Authorities learned of the relationship when the school’s police liaison was informed of possible sexual conduct involving students and a school employee on May 12, according to Hillside police.
The lawsuit alleges that, in addition to the boy, Taylor also molested the boy’s 19-year-old older brother, who is also a student at Proviso West.
Taylor “exploited [the boys’] suggestibility” and manipulated them by telling them that no one would believe them if they disclosed the sexual relationship, the suit said. The plaintiffs also accuse Taylor of threatening discipline if they spoke to others about their relationship, and portraying the relationships as built upon love, trust and understanding.
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and the district’s board of education were negligent and reckless in hiring Taylor, the suit alleges. School officials did not have in place a system or procedure to supervise employees and pre-sexual grooming of children, and did not employ procedures to test and screen for dangerous sexual propensities, according to the suit.
The lawsuit also claims that, after learning about Taylor’s sexual misconduct, school officials did not immediately remove her from the vicinity of students and did not report it to the proper authorities. The district and board of education had “the intent to conceal these deviant acts so that no scandal would be brought against itself and its affiliates.”
On May 14, Judge Ramon Ocasio ordered Taylor held on a $25,000 bond in a Maywood courthouse. She is next scheduled to appear in court June 5.
The 12-count lawsuit claims negligence, sexual assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty against Taylor. It claims negligent and reckless hiring and reckless retention and supervision against Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and the district’s board of education. The suit is seeking at least $600,000 in damages.