Illinois Teacher’s Aide Accused Of Molesting Male High School Students And Infecting Them With HIV
35-year-old Mario L. Hunt, a special-needs teaching assistant has been arrested following accusations that he molested and infected a male student with HIV, News One reports.
Hunt, who is said to be fully aware of his HIV status, is also being investigated in a similar case involving another student. On Monday, Hunt was charged with felony counts of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and “transmitting” HIV through intimate contact. The incident occurred back in 2011 when the student was 17 years old. As of right now, authorities are unsure if the student was infected with the virus, but because Hunt exposed him to it, he is being charged with “transmitting” HIV.
Lt. Dennis Plew of the Cahokia Police Department says he’s unsure if the now 19-year-old student has been tested for the virus at all.
“This is horrible. I’m sure some kids come to school and put a lot of trust in a teacher, and for anyone to take advantage of that is a terrible thing,” Plew expressed to an AP reporter.
To make matters worse, Hunt is actually an alumnus of the Cahokia School District.
“You always think something like this isn’t going to happen here and we’d be able to see something, but it’s just so tough to know. Realistically, what can you do? It’s hard to tell what’s going on in people’s hearts and minds,” said the district’s Superintendent Art Ryan.
Ryan also added that Hunt was very popular among students and that he frequently helped out with homecoming and prom events.
“All of the kids certainly seemed to like him,” he said.
This is a very unfortunate situation. It’s very sad that our young people are being taken advantage of by the people they trust, especially in a school of all places.