Lawsuit for $1.25 million filed against Metamora High School, Maurer and ex-teacher

DeWayne Bartels
Stephen Chromik, Ken Maurer and the Metamora High School District have all been named in a federal civil lawsuit seeking $1.25 million.

A federal civil lawsuit was filed Friday seeking $1.25 million from a former Metamora High School teacher convicted of having sex with a student, the Metamora High School District and retiring Metamora High School superintendent Ken Maurer.

The lawsuit, filed by the, alleges Maurer and the school district were negligent when they hired Stephen Chromik to be a teacher and coach at the school, despite a prior felony sex conviction in Tennessee.

The plaintiff at the time of the occurrances was a 16-year-old sophomore at Metamora High School. Chromik was a family and consumer science teacher and assistant varsity girls soccer coach.

The suit said Chromik made sexual advances on and around July 1, 2008 in Tazewell and Peoria counties.

Chromik was sentenced to four years in prison for having sex with the 16-year-old Metamora student whom he had coached.

His August 2009 sentencing came about three years after the school district hired him.

At the trial, the victim said Chromik had sex with her at least once at his Peoria apartment, gave her alcohol and tried to grope her at an equipment shed outside the school.

The suit alleges when Chromik applied for the job in 2006 he told Maurer he had a felony sex conviction in Tennessee. Chromik was convicted of a count of attempted rape in 2005 in relation to a female student at Vanderbilt University. The conviction was in Davidson County. He was placed on probation for five years.

Maurer, the suit alleges, recommended hiring Chromik anyway.

“During plaintiff’s student contacts with the defendant, plaintiff was repeatedly subjected to unwelcome sexual advances and harassment from the male defendant, Stephen Chromik,” the complaint states.

The suit alleges the Metamora High School District “knew or was deliberately indifferent” to the risk Chromik posed.

The complaint states Chromik, Maurer and the school district denied the plaintiff her 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law.

“Maurer ... turned a blind eye to the sexual harassment and abuse,” the compliant states.

The suit seeks $1 million from Chromik, Maurer and the school district.

Additionally, the suit seeks $250,000 from Chromik.

The claim alleges the school district of negligent hiring and willful and wanton hiring.

A jury trial is being sought.