Chicago — A North Side man was charged Thursday with sex crimes involving two students at Theodore Roosevelt High School, 3436 West Wilson, where he served as a club leader and dance instructor for an after-class dance club.
Bryon Ortega, 19, exchanged texts with one student, a 16-year-old boy, and invited him to participate in private dance lessons at Ortega’s home, prosecutors said. The boy accepted, and after a brief lesson in Ortega’s living room on September 10, Ortega allegedly asked the teen to join him in the bedroom.
In the bedroom, Ortega allegedly showed the boy a video on his phone of Ortega having sex with another person. Ortega then sexually assaulted the boy, told him he had a crush on him, and recorded the boy with his phone, prosecutors alleged.
On November 19, Ortega texted a 14-year-old boy and invited him to get food together. Prosecutors said he picked the boy up, drove to McDonald’s, and then parked his car in another lot.
While in the car, Ortega allegedly offered the teen $200 if he would watch Ortega pleasure himself. Prosecutors say that Ortega then masturbated in front of the boy and touched the teen’s private parts, but the boy pushed him away. Ortega then showed the second victim sexually explicit videos on his phone and eventually dropped the boy off again, according to the allegations.
Both students reported Ortega’s actions to adults and each other. Chicago police were contacted about the allegations in late November, prosecutors said.
Investigators searched Ortega’s phone and allegedly found pictures and videos of child pornography. They also located text messages from Ortega to the second victim in which he apologized and confirmed that he had never paid the boy the $200 he promised, according to prosecutors.
Ortega has no criminal record.
He is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and two counts of child pornography.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered him to pay a $5,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring. She also instructed him to stay away from people under the age of 18 and the high school.
In an emailed statement, a CPS spokesperson said: “Chicago Public Schools is committed to ensuring students have access to a safe learning environment, and we take seriously any allegation of inappropriate employee conduct. A grant-funded independent contractor was removed from his position at Theodore Roosevelt High School following allegations that he engaged inappropriately with a student off-school grounds.”
The CPS inspector general is also investigating the matter.