Former Niles North cheerleading coach and math teacher, Jeffery Tackes, entered a plea of not guilty to charges of sexually exploiting a minor at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton on Thursday.
Tackes, 30, is not allowed to make contact with two varsity cheerleaders from Niles North, according to court records. The alleged incident took place at Tackes' Bensenville home on Dec. 15, 2010, police said. However, he was told not to make contact with the alleged victims after he was charged more than a year later. Skokie Patch is not releasing the names of the alleged victims because they are minors.
The allegations were brought to light on Feb. 13, 2012 when Tackes was charged. He is accused of coercing a Niles North student younger than 17 years old to remove her clothing for his sexual arousal or gratification, Bensenville police said. Tackes resigned one day after being charged. He had been coaching cheerleading the 14 months from the time of the alleged incident until he resigned.
Jim Szczepaniak, District 219's community relations director, said the school was not aware that Tackes had cheerleaders visit his home until it conducted an internal investigation.
"It became apparent that he had invited students there that night," Szczepaniak said in an email. "As part of our school investigation, Niles North administration interviewed all members of the cheerleading team, as well as coaches and others in contact with the cheerleading team."
Tackes is due back in court April 24. Both Tackes and his lawyer, Robert A. Novelle, of Novelle Law Associates, declined to comment.
The former math teacher was present with his parents during his court appearance on Thursday. His mother, Patricia Tackes, is a secretary for District 219's administrative staff, including the superintendent.