Chicago high school teacher, former legislature candidate, charged with sexually abusing student

A Chicago charter school teacher and recent candidate for the state legislature is charged with sexually abusing a student in his classroom and sending the girl lewd photographs and video.

Manuel Jimenez, 29, was held in lieu of a $10,000 bail deposit by Judge Maryam Ahmad during a bond hearing Saturday afternoon. She also ordered him to stay away from anyone under the age of 18.

Prosecutors did not identify the school involved, but Jimenez’s biography on the Community Leaders for Change website said he taught businesses at ASPIRA Business and Finance, 2989 North Milwaukee, in Logan Square. His LinkedIn page said he left Chicago Public Schools last month.

Manuel Jimenez | Chicago Police Department; Google

Jimenez was the 17-year-old girl’s teacher when he approached her in April 2022 with an invitation to hang out, saying he was tired of having sex with his wife and wanted to start having sex with the teenager, prosecutors Zachary Peasall said during the court hearing.

On another occasion, Jimenez told the girl, “I want to f*ck the sh*t out of you,” and said he wanted her to nanny his children so he could have sex with her, Peasall alleged.

The two were alone in a classroom a few weeks later when Jimenez allegedly cornered her and touched her breast over her clothing. Another time, he showed her the outline of his penis inside his pants and rubbed it, Peasall said.

In July, shortly after Jimenez lost his campaign to become the District 4 State Representative, Jimenez allegedly sent the girl a video of himself masturbating in the shower. The girl was with a friend when the video arrived, and the friend took a screenshot of the footage, according to Peasall. Investigators later matched the bathroom seen in the video with pictures of Jimenez’s home on a real estate sales website.

The girl revealed Jimenez’s behavior to her school principal and mother in October. Police interviewed the girl and the friend who was with her when she received the video. They also recovered a handwritten note with his Snapchat username that Jimenez allegedly gave the girl.

His private defense attorney told Judge Ahmad that Jimenez has been married for seven years and currently works at a restaurant.

“I’ve gotten to know him. This is not the man I know, that’s for sure,” Attorney Matt Keenan said. “I think there will be a trial eventually.”

Keenan said Jimenez was “well-liked” and called the allegations “completely out of character.”

Jimenez has a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University and is working on his doctorate.

He’s charged with criminal sexual abuse and possessing or transmitting harmful materials.

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