Ex-student sues Lake Forest Montessori school over ‘illegal sexual relationship’ with teacher who’s now in prison

Chicago Tribune

February 27, 2018

By Matthew Walberg

A former student from the Montessori School of Lake Forest has sued the school, saying a teacher engaged in a long-running “illegal sexual relationship” with him that included her sending him nude photographs of herself.

That ex-teacher is now in prison on a conviction of criminal sexual assault of a minor.

The former student filed the suit anonymously in Lake County last week, saying school leaders should have known that his teacher, Celina Montoya, was grooming him, according to a copy of the lawsuit. It claims school officials allowed Montoya to have prolonged periods of time alone with the student, which she used to “manipulate” him into “in an inappropriate and illegal sexual relationship.”

The suit also claims school officials learned of the inappropriate relationship in 2013 but failed to terminate her immediately or report the claims to the Department of Children and Family Services.

A school representative could not be reached for comment.

Montoya, 43 was convicted in 2016 to criminal sexual assault of a child between the ages of 13 and 17 and was sentenced to four years in prison, according to Lake County Circuit court records. She is currently serving time at the Logan Correctional Center near Springfield.

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