The Schamburg Christian High School teacher accused by students of touching himself inappropriately during class denied those allegations Wednesday, and his attorneys say statements he reportedly made to police that contradict that plea were a product of his struggles with dementia.
Paul A. LaDuke, 75, pleaded not guilty to nine counts of felony exploitation of a child Wednesday, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
LaDuke was fired from the school on Nov. 11, the same day students complained about his behavior. Police say Laduke confessed to "masturbating while fantasizing about various students for the past 10 years," and investigators believe this incident was not isolated.
Irv Seidler, an attorney representing LaDuke, attributed the former teacher's admissions to his ongoing struggle with dementia, and noted that no additional charges have been filed for previous incidents, he told CBS Chicago. LaDuke had been a teacher at the Schamburg school for 26 years.
LaDuke is out on bond and has been ordered to avoid contact with minors, his victims and their families, the Daily Herald reports. He is next scheduled to appear in court Jan. 26, and faces one to three years in jail if found guilty of felony exploitation.