A former Lake Forest High School theater manager has been charged with multiple sex crimes after authorities said he had inappropriate relationships with two students under the age of 18.
Benjamin M. Davidson, 30, of North Chicago, is charged with criminal sexual assault, child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, authorities said, stemming from alleged conduct that took place from December 2010 to January of this year.
According to authorities and court records, Davidson is accused of having sexual contact with two separate female students. He is also accused of taking a photograph of himself engaged in a sex act with one of the students and of possessing another inappropriate image of the girl.
Lake Forest police said they launched an investigation in March after school officials received a complaint from the parent of a student. Police said Davidson immediately resigned when school officials spoke to him about the complaint.
Over their three-month investigation, police said they analyzed texts, emails, videos and photographs from “a variety of digital sources.”
“These records indicate a consistent pattern of Davidson engaging in inappropriate and explicit text conversations of a sexual nature with students. In some cases, he describes sex acts he completed with these students,” the police press release said.
Davidson was taken into custody today, officials said.
Lake Forest High School officials released a statement saying, in part: “Student safety is our first priority, and we take any such allegations very seriously.”
The school also said that, in accordance with its policy, “an independent investigator with criminal law experience” is reviewing the matter.
This is the second time in recent years that a Lake Forest school official has resigned over alleged misconduct that included inappropriate texting.
In late 2011, Deer Path Middle School principal John Steinert resigned after the Tribune revealed that he had pleaded guilty in 2009 to misdemeanor electronic harassment stemming from unwanted lewd texts he sent to a woman he had met while she was a college intern with the city of Lake Forest.