Edgeville Buzz

Senn High Teacher And Local Actor Charged With Sexually Assaulting A Student

CPD Photo Joel Ewing

A Senn High School teacher and well-established actor within Chicago’s theatre scene has been charged with a single count of criminal sexual assault with possible future felony charges to follow after an inappropriate relationship he had with one of his underage students.

It was announced that Senn High’s theatre director and teacher, 40-year-old Joel Ewing, was taken into custody on Monday and appeared in court on Tuesday due to the charges. He had admitted to police that he had inappropriate sexual relations with the female teenage student at the school.

The now 21-year-old victim filed a police report over the summer prompting Senn Principal Mary Beck to send out a letter to parents in late July to communicate that a Senn employee was removed from the school due to the conduct. Yesterday, Beck sent out another letter saying that Ewing was officially arrested and criminally charged in the matter.

The abuse started in when Ewing began sending romantic messages to the girl when she was just 15. By her junior year he began meeting her alone and touching her inappropriately. Then while while the two attended a 2015 acting festival in Normal, Illinois, Ewing texted the girl to come to his hotel room where he had inappropriate sexual contact with her. Those sexual assaults continued through her senior year until the victim broke off the relationship as a freshman in college.

Ewing, who is married and a West Ridge resident, has been active in the Chicago theatre scene. Steppenwolf’s website announced that he was named artistic director of LiveWire Chicago and TimeLine Theatre Company’s website said that he is co-artistic director of a youth-focused program called The Yard.

Judge Arthur Wesley Willis set bail for Ewing at $150,000 and he must submit to electronic monitoring once bond is posted. He will appear in court again on Oct. 7.



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