A former sixth-grade teacher at Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove is awaiting extradition to Illinois, where he will be charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual assault of a minor he met while working at the school, police said Friday.
Ilan Gibori, 46, of the 800 block of Belle Isle Lane, Vernon Hills, was taken into custody Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport based on a Lake County arrest warrant alleging criminal sexual assault, Vernon Hills police said in a news release. Authorities said they suspect he was trying to flee the country.
Police said they received information Wednesday from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that Gibori had sexually assaulted the minor on numerous occasions over a period of several years.
Vernon Hills police said Gibori met the minor in 2017 while he was a teacher at Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove. Gibori left Cooper Middle School in July 2019 and has worked at The House Tutoring Lounge in Glencoe, police said.
Police said the investigation is ongoing and any parents of a student of Gibori is encouraged to speak with their child. Anyone with information can call the Vernon Hills police investigations unit at (847) 247-4891, or Buffalo Grove police at (847) 459-2560.
Counseling and student support teams will be at Cooper on Monday and in coming days to offer counseling and emotional support “to any in-person or virtual student who may need it,” according to a statement posted Friday on the school website.
Police worked with the Lake County state’s attorney’s office to obtain an arrest warrant for Gibori. A state’s attorney’s investigator notified Homeland Security at O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth airports to locate and apprehend Gibori, according to Vernon Hills police.
“Bringing this fleeing suspect to justice would not have happened without the incredible efforts and rapid response from our law enforcement partners,” State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in the news release, listing the various agencies involved.
“We are very troubled by these allegations but applaud the courage of the victim,” Vernon Hills Police Chief Patrick Kreis said. Investigators worked quickly with other agencies to secure a warrant, locate and apprehend Gibori, he said.
Gibori was a sixth-grade teacher during the 2018-19 school year and left in July 2019 “to pursue a different career opportunity,” according to the school district’s statement Friday. Cooper is one of 13 schools in Wheeling Elementary District 21, which serves nearly 7,000 students in six communities.