State

Former Springfield teacher convicted of sex abuse

SPRINGFIELD – A former Springfield teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing a young boy more than a decade ago.

The Springfield State Journal-Register reported 59-year-old Steven Battles was sentenced to seven years in prison in Sangamon Circuit Court on Monday.

Battles pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for fondling a boy between 1999 and 2002. Prosecutors say the abuse began when the boy was 10.

Officials say Battles had a history of questionable behavior during his 17-year career with District 186. He was accused of letting students sit on his lap, giving back rubs and telephoning male students. He was fired in 2009.

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