A former special education teacher faces criminal charges in Chicago, where authorities have accused her of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy after drugging him with marijuana-laced tea and candies.
Sara Damyan, 33, has been in the Cook County Jail on $150,000 bond since turning herself in Monday morning after learning police planned to charge her with one count of criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages 13 and 17.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the alleged assaults began more than a year ago, when they boy was 14. The boy was not one of Damyan’s students but he was an eighth-grader at Volta Elementary School, where Damyan taught.
Prosecutors allege the assaults happened between January 15 and March 8, 2019, the paper reports, at Damyan’s home.
According to WLS-TV, prosecutors allege Damyan tutored the boy and other students after school, often bringing snacks for the students, some of whom she gave her phone number.
The alleged abuse ended last March, after a complaint was made against Damyan, resulting in her removal from the classroom. She has since been dismissed from her position.
According to WMAQ-TV, an unidentified individual — a friend of the suspect’s — reported Damyan for suspected abuse, including allegedly providing marijuana to students.
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Investigators uncovered around 12,000 communications between Damyan and the boy, including calls to the student’s home.
The Sun-Times reports that the teen began developing feelings for Damyan, and she invited him to her home, where she allegedly poured him tea that had been laced with marijuana and gummy bears infused with THC.
As the two watched a movie, she allegedly started sexually assaulting him. This prompted him to leave, and later, she allegedly texted him, telling him not to tell anyone about the alleged abuse.
He returned to her home the next day, where they again watched a movie and she again allegedly sexually assaulted him.
The paper reports that investigators learned Damyan had allegedly referred to the teen as her boyfriend while talking to a friend.
She allegedly told that same friend she had been sleeping with the teen and using marijuana vape pens with him, prosecutors say. The friend is in a job that requires reporting illegal activity involving minors.
Damyan has yet to appear in court to enter a plea to the charge against her.
It was unclear Wednesday who her attorney is.