Ill. school hired jailed teacher despite felony -

Ill. school hired jailed teacher despite felony

METAMORA, Ill. (AP) -- A central Illinois school district says it was trying to give a young man another chance when it hired him as a teacher and coach despite a felony conviction in Tennessee.

Now, 26-year-old Stephen Chromik is serving a four-year sentence for having sex with a 16-year-old girl he coached at Metamora Township High School.

In 2003, he was charged with attempted rape in an attack on a classmate at Vanderbilt University. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was put on probation.

Metamora Superintendent Ken Maurer says the district was aware of Chromik's history.

But officials hired him after he wrote a letter of appeal and presented stellar references from Bradley University, where he graduated in 2006.

Bradley was unaware of his criminal conviction.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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