A Maine East High School teacher faces sexual abuse charges stemming from an ongoing relationship she had with a former student. Jennifer Espinosa, a 38 year old resident of Park Ridge, IL, appeared in Skokie Bond Court on Monday where she was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Aggravated criminal sexual assault is a Class 2 felony carrying a sentence that ranges from three to seven years. Espinosa is a science and special education teacher at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Espinosa was arrested last Saturday night when Cook County Sheriff’s police approached a vehicle parked in the Golf Terrace Apartments in the 9600 block of North Golf Terrace in Des Plaines, IL. The 2009 Honda Pilot reportedly smelled of marijuana. Police discovered Espinosa in the car along with a 16 year old boy and a 22 year old man. The 22 year old, Alejandro Landi of Niles, was charged with misdemeanor drug possession. During subsequent questioning Espinosa admitted that she was a former teacher and mentor of the 16 year old boy in the car. She revealed that over the course of the previous eight months she had sex with the boy in her car, at her house and at the school. She reportedly admitted to police that she ‘loves’ the former 16 year-old student with whom she had an ongoing sexual relationship. Espinosa claims that the relationship began only after the boy was expelled. Both the teenager and the male passenger are suspected gang members.