A Chicago Public Schools elementary school teacher was charged Wednesday with criminal sexual assault for allegedly sexting and assaulting a 14-year-old female student.
Idris Bridgeforth, a 39-year-old gym teacher and coach at Ashburn Elementary School, allegedly drove the eighth grader to and from sporting events and practices, NBC Chicago reports.
During those drives, Bridgeforth allegedly fondled the girl. He also sent her multiple text messages "of a sexual nature," the girl reportedly told police.
The student victim had looked up to the teacher and basketball and track coach as a "father figure," Assistant State's Attorney Wendy Caceres said of the case, WGN reports. The student's mother learned of the abuse when she discovered explicit text messages on her daughter's phone.
According to ABC Chicago, Bridgeforth, of Riverdale, Ill., had known the student since she was 7 years old.
Bridgeforth, who was also charged with felony indecent solicitation, was ordered held on $250,000 bond Thursday and forbade from having any contact with children under 18 should he be released, according to CBS Chicago. He has also been blocked from accessing computers or cell phones and could face up to 15 years in prison.
Chicago Public Schools said, in a statement released Thursday, that "inappropriate behavior between employees and students is inexcusable and is not tolerated by CPS at any time."