Crime & Courts

Crystal Lake teacher on paid leave amid online grooming investigation

A Crystal Lake Central High School teacher is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into claims he had inappropriate conversations with a teen girl in an online chat room.

Matthew Fralick was earning $102,026 in base salary with $4,807 in retirement enhancements and $15,350 in other benefits with the district, according to Community High School District 155’s salary and benefits report, dated Aug. 22.

Fralick, 48, is accused of talking with a teenage girl in an online chat room, where he allegedly asked her to take part in sexual behavior. Fralick is due back in court Friday on a felony grooming charge.

A statement that district spokeswoman Shannon Podzimek sent to the Northwest Herald on Feb. 2 did not say if the leave was paid. However, a statement sent to the Northwest Herald on Monday did include that Fralick was on paid leave.

On Friday, Podzimek sent the Northwest Herald a nearly identical statement, which she said the district sent parents and staff Feb. 1. The statement indicated Fralick has been on paid leave since at least Feb. 1, when he turned himself in to the McHenry Police Department. District officials have not answered questions about when Fralick was put on leave.

“Because this is an ongoing investigation, we have been asked and advised not to provide any additional information or comments at this time,” board President Adam Guss said in an email Friday. “I’m sensitive to the fact that our community wants answers, but at this point I’m unable to provide anything more. As soon as I’m able to do so, I will. ... As [a] board member and father of a student at Crystal Lake Central, I’m 100 percent confident that our administration handled this in an appropriate way.”

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.