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Crystal Lake-based School District 155 mum on grooming charge against teacher

Matthew Fralick, 48, of Lake in the Hills
Matthew Fralick, 48, of Lake in the Hills

Community High School District 155 officials remain tight-lipped about the charges against a teacher and former coach accused of grooming a girl in an online chatroom.

Crystal Lake Central High School teacher Matthew Fralick has been placed on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation, district officials said. Fralick, a former football and girls basketball coach, is listed on the school’s website as a physical education and driver’s education instructor.

The 48-year-old is accused of using a chat website to lure a teen girl to engage in sexual behavior, according to a criminal complaint. The girl does not live in Illinois, McHenry police public affairs officer Patrick Polidori said.

Grooming is a felony charge typically punishable by as many as three years in prison. Fralick could not be reached for comment Monday.

He turned himself in to the McHenry Police Department on a $20,000 bond Friday and was released shortly after posting $2,000. His first court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 15.

The situation initially was reported to Barrington police in April and later turned over to the McHenry Police Department. Crystal Lake Central High School eventually was notified about the investigation, although it’s unclear when the school was informed.

The school’s principal, Eric Ernd, and District 155 Superintendent Steve Olson did not return messages Monday seeking information about Fralick’s leave and the police investigation. District 155 spokeswoman Shannon Podzimek would not say when the district learned of the investigation or how soon after learning about it Fralick was put on leave.

McHenry police have partially denied a Northwest Herald Freedom of Information Act request seeking police reports and affidavits connected with Fralick’s arrest. The department claimed that releasing the information would interfere with an ongoing investigation.

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