Chicago principal testifies about alleged rape

Tribune reporter

A Chicago Public Schools principal wept and wiped her eyes with a tissue as she testified Monday about allegedly being raped in her home by a CPS teacher while her son slept in his bedroom down the hall.

At a hearing in the Leighton Criminal Court Building, the 42-year-old woman stood a few feet away from Lewis Himes Jr., a friend of 20 years whom she invited over May 28 to watch an NBA game.

"He was my best friend," she testified. "We were just going to hang out, watch TV and talk."

Himes, 41, a teacher at Turner-Drew Language Academy at 9339 S. Princeton Ave., told police he had consensual sex with the woman.

The woman testified that they had a previous romantic relationship that ended one or two years ago.

Himes was arrested at the school June 3, according to court records. The alleged victim is a principal at a different school from where Himes taught.

According to the woman's testimony, Himes appeared to have been drinking before he arrived at her home that night in May. She testified that he then consumed a bottle of wine he brought with him, even drinking the rest of the woman's glass after she took a few sips.

The woman testified that she let Himes sleep on the floor next to her bed at about midnight but awoke at about 4 a.m. to find him raping her. She told him to stop and tried to escape, saying she thought someone was calling her.

"I told him, 'No, we should not be doing this,' and to stop," she said.

She texted him later that morning. "We need to talk," she testified she wrote. "I feel like you raped me. … I feel like dying."

When she texted him that she was going to call the police, he wrote back, "I'm sorry for forcing myself to have sex with you, please forgive me," she testified before leaving the courtroom in tears.

Judge Donald Panarese Jr. lowered Himes' bond to $150,000 after his attorney said Himes could post bail at 10 percent of that amount with money from his pension. The bond had been set at $250,000.

In a statement, CPS said Himes had been "removed from the classroom."

"We will follow any legal proceedings and take further action at the appropriate time as needed," CPS said.

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