Crime & Courts

Prairie Ridge High School teacher pleads not guilty to financial exploitation charges

Lima is accused of using more than $50,000 of an elderly woman's money to buy a home

Rick Lima
Rick Lima

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Prairie Ridge High School teacher on Friday pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $50,000 of an elderly woman’s money to purchase a home.

Physical education teacher and varsity girls basketball coach Rick Lima faces felony financial exploitation charges stemming from purchases he’s accused of making in July.

Crystal Lake police have said they believe the money was used to buy a home.

Lima is one of eight teachers whose position with Community High School District 155 will be cut at the end of the academic year. District officials on Tuesday unanimously approved the layoffs.

Employees who are laid off are selected based on statutory guidelines and student choice, depending on the courses they register for, District 155 Superintendent Steve Olson said Tuesday.

The district is down by 140 students for the upcoming school year, Olson said.

Devin Hester, president of the District 155 Education Association, has attributed the cuts to declining enrollment.

Lima will return to court May 4.

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