A longtime Berwyn band teacher duct-taped an elementary student to her chair and molested her during school hours, prosecutors told a Maywood Court judge last Thursday.
The teacher, Robert Sperlik Jr., 45, of North Riverside, had been previously arrested for sexually abusing five girls. He appeared before Judge Judy Mitchell-Davis on charges he molested 11 other girls between 1998 and 2003. Sperlik was not granted bond on any of the nine counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, six counts of kidnapping and one count of unlawful restraint.
Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Sandra Blake said one Komensky Elementary School student, between the ages of 8 and 12, accused Sperlik of using tape on multiple occasions to bind her legs and stomach to her chair, taping her arms either behind her or to the arms of her chair. Sperlik then touched her shoulders, breasts and thigh, Blake said. Once he put a rag in the girl’s mouth and taped over it, Blake said.
Sperlik also made students bind each other, using duct tape, said Berwyn Public Safety Director Frank Marzullo.
These were the same techniques displayed in 30 to 40 sex bondage videotapes found in Sperlik’s home, Marzullo said. The videos were professionally made and used adult actors, Marzullo said.
Berwyn police searched Sperlik’s North Riverside home, assisted by North Riverside police.
“Eleven separate children are alleging this defendant, during school hours, committed sexual abuse on them,” said Blake, who asked for a minimum of $200,000 bond. The students were between the ages of 9 and 14 and attended six different elementary schools in Berwyn’s District 100: Pershing, Irving, Emerson, Hiawatha, Piper and Komensky Schools.
Defense attorney William Hendrick asked the judge to let Sperlik go home.
“He has never been arrested before this,” Hendrick said. “He is a lifelong member of this community. His entire family lives here.”
Hendrick, who argued that it has been several years since the alleged incidents, suggested that Sperlik be able to live with family or be monitored.
“He is a reliable person,” Hendrick said.
But Mitchell-Davis opted to keep Sperlik in jail, denying bond.
Berwyn police said the investigation is continuing, and more charges may be coming. North Riverside Deputy Chief Anthony Garvey said that the department is being kept abreast of the investigation, but hasn’t pursued any local charges.
“At this point there is no information of any offenses occurring in North Riverside,” Garvey said. “We’re working in conjunction with Berwyn in their investigation. If something comes up that indicates something occurred here, then we’ll pursue it at that point.”
At least two of the girls have filed civil lawsuits against Sperlik.
? Bob Uphues contributed to this report.