A former school custodian for the Chicago area Naperville school district with a record of felony conviction has been found guilty in the sex-related battery of a teacher at Beebe Elementary School. Fifty-five-year-old Kenneth R. Brown, was charged with a Class 3 felony of aggravated battery of a school employee, and has been ordered to serve six months in a jail work-release program, plus two and a half years of probation. Brown was arrested in December for allegedly exposing and fondling himself near the teacher, and made physical contact. However, police said no students were present at the time of the incident.
After Brown’s arrest, it was found that he had a prior felony conviction for theft. In 1990, Brown was convicted by a grand jury on a felony count of theft for stealing $12,050 from a Naperville Kmart store while working for an armored trucking company. In 1989 Brown worked for Federal Armored Express Co., where part of his job duty was to collect cash deposits from businesses. Following the theft conviction, Brown was placed on probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service work. Brown began working for the Naperville school district before 2004, prior to a law mandating felony background checks for public school employment applicants.
District 203 Superintendent Mark A. Mitrovich appeared to deflect blame for having a convicted felon employed by the school district and working in an elementary school. Mitrovich states that employees hired before 2004 did not undergo background checks. “The issue, quite frankly, is that he was on staff when all of us got here,” said Mitrovich of himself and other administrators. Mitrovich adds that all potential hires must now “go through an FBI background search and fingerprint screening,” something that “wasn’t required by the state when (Brown) was hired, to the best of my knowledge.”
In addition to work release and probation, Brown was also ordered to undergo a full sex offender evaluation, and ordered to not have any further contact with his victim, her family, or any of the school district’s other employees. He was also assessed fines and legal fees totaling $575, according to court records. Brown resigned from his custodian job in December, 2011.
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