Madison - St. Clair Record

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Suit alleges former Alton teacher engaged in sexual activity with student


By John Breslin | Jul 18, 2019

EDWARDSVILLE - A student and her mother are suing a school district over allegations the defendants failed to act appropriately after being informed that a teacher allegedly engaged in sexual activities with a minor.

Mary Doe and her daughter Jane Doe filed the lawsuit on July 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against the Alton Community School District, teacher Jordan Graham, high school principal Michael Bellm and school counselor Cindy Pollard. 

The Alton district did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Graham, 28, of Godfrey was an English and journalism teacher at Alton High School. 

Graham was arrested and charged Nov.  2, 2018, with four felony counts of criminal sexual assault against an individual between 13 and 17, according to Madison County court records. The records show that a hearing was held July 15 in Court 214, with a trial date set for Aug. 19.

The suit alleges from June, 2018 through Nov. 1, 2018, the teacher performed sexual activity with the plaintiff, Jane Doe. He engaged in inappropriate contact and had an inappropriate relationship with the student, including on school property, the suit alleges.

In October 2018, the suit states that the Alton School District, Bellm and Pollard were made aware of the sexual activity, and that they "owed a duty of reasonable care" to the plaintiff.

However, the plaintiffs allege the district and school employees failed to take appropriate action to prevent further contact. The lawsuit states that the complaint regarding the sexual activity was not reported immediately to the proper authorities.

Jane Doe, the suit alleges, sustained mental injury, pain, suffering, humiliation, and embarrassment. The mother is also suing for damages.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment in excess of $50,000 plus court costs for each count. They are represented by Michael Glisson and Timothy Chartrand of Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson in Alton. 

Madison County Circuit Court case number 19-L-942

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