A Crystal Lake Central High School teacher accused of grooming an underage girl online told the alleged victim that he “often flirted with his students in the same fashion,” according to a Barrington police report.
Physical education, health and driver’s education teacher Matthew R. Fralick, 48, has been on paid administrative leave since December, according to emails obtained by the Northwest Herald. His absence stems from a police investigation into sexual comments Fralick is accused of making in April to a 15-year-old girl in an age-restricted chatroom for teens.
A police report obtained by the Northwest Herald on Monday confirmed that the original investigating agency warned Community High School District 155 officials May 3 about the allegations, which included claims that Fralick admitted to acting inappropriately with students.
A police investigation began
April 16, when Barrington High School Principal Steve McWilliams sent police an email that he had received earlier in the day from a concerned juvenile. The girl claimed that someone purporting to be a teacher at the school had made sexual advances toward her in an online chatroom reserved for teens, according to the email.
“The reason I am writing to you is that he was really insistent and even offered me sex on this platform reserved for teens, even if I told him I was only 15,” the girl wrote. “He told me he often flirted with his students. So I’ve been quite worried about the well-being of your students. His advances made me really uncomfortable, so I don’t even imagine what it can be like in real life.”
The girl also claimed that Fralick tried several times to meet with her, according to the police report.
McWilliams tried to respond to the girl’s email, but his reply didn’t go through, according to the report.
“I received this email today. I have tried to connect with the author to urge them to seek a trusted adult in their community, but it was kicked back,” Williams wrote in the email to police.
Weeks later, on May 3, Barrington police contacted Prairie Ridge High School resource officer Delmar Dade to confirm that Fralick was a teacher in the district. Once Dade confirmed that Fralick was a teacher, Barrington police explained the details of the allegations “for notification to the school district, given the nature of the alleged offense and the subject’s continued contact with minor children,” the report stated.
The matter then was transferred to the McHenry Police Department, which continues to investigate the situation.
“Fralick is not a resident or teacher of Barrington, and the conversation occurred on a Sunday linked to his home IP address in McHenry,” Barrington police wrote in their report.
A criminal complaint filed Feb. 1 in McHenry County court listed Fralick’s address in the 1300 block of Cunat Court in Lake in the Hills.
His attorney, Albert Wysocki, has not returned several phone calls seeking comment.
Communication between District 155 staff members showed that Fralick was placed on paid leave twice before school officials notified parents and staff in a late-night email sent hours after the teacher turned himself in to police.
The district originally placed Fralick on leave Aug. 16 while the district’s human resources department conducted a two-week internal investigation into the allegations, district emails show.
On Aug. 29, Jay Sargeant, assistant superintendent of human resources, told Fralick in an email that they were “unable to substantiate the allegations” against him based on the information they had at the time. Fralick resumed teaching the next day, emails show.
Fralick went on leave again in December and has not returned since he surrendered to McHenry police Feb. 1.
After Fralick’s arrest, District 155 sent an email to staff and parents stating, “We have no reason to suspect that any student or staff member in the district has been in any danger at any time.”
Reached by email Monday,
District 155 communications director Shannon Podzimek stood by the district’s original statement.
“As previously stated, D-155 has cooperated fully with the McHenry Police Department,” Podzimek said. “There has been no indication of involvement with D-155 students. As this is an ongoing criminal and personnel investigation, we have no further comment.”
From 2010 to 2014, Fralick worked as the head football coach at Crystal Lake Central. He also formerly acted as the assistant coach for the football, girls basketball and boys golf teams.
According to an email from the school’s athletic director, Fralick resigned as assistant girls basketball coach on the morning of June 13, which was in the middle of the school’s June 4 to 28 varsity girls basketball camp.
He is earning $102,026 in base salary with $4,807 in retirement enhancements and $15,350 in other benefits from the district, according to the district’s salary and benefits report dated Aug. 22.
Fralick is scheduled to appear in court March 29.