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IL- Dist. 23 Teacher Facing Charges Found Dead

2-4-2009 Illinois:

A teacher from MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights, arrested and charged last Friday (Jan. 30) with allegedly sexually molesting a student, was found dead in his garage in Buffalo Grove early this morning (Monday), according to Buffalo Grove police.

According to police, Ronald Vos, 53, of 502 Longwood Dr., died of an apparent suicide. Police found Vos at approximately 5:45 a.m.

Police said Vos' wife called police after she initially discovered him. Authorities are unsure how long Vos was dead at the time of his finding, but said his wife reported last seeing him around 4 p.m. Sunday.

According to Prospect Heights Police Chief Bruce Morris, Vos was arrested last Friday at his home without incident.

In September 2008, the Prospect Heights Police Dept. was contacted by Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) regarding an allegation of sexual abuse that occurred at MacArthur in September 2005.

Through the investigation that was conducted by Prospect Heights police, with help from the Sex Crimes Unit of the Cook County States Attorney's Office, police said a juvenile victim reported that on one occasion, Vos allegedly sexually assaulted the boy while at school and on three more occasions outside of school between September 2005 and February or March 2007. During that time, the boy was 13-15 years old.

Further investigation produced computer records indicating that Vos and the victim agreed to trade sex for beer and cigarettes, according to Prospect Heights police.

"The investigation began in September 2008 when it was brought to our attention by school staff and the DCFS," said Morris.

But why did it take five months from the initial complaint to the arrest of Vos?

According to Morris, interviewing the child and processing the information takes a long time, because it also includes grand jury subpoenas and access to phones and computers.

Morris said detectives interviewed the child a couple times and Vos was also interviewed twice.

"We needed enough probable cause to make the arrest," said Morris. "We couldn't have made the arrest until we (police) and the State's Attorney were satisfied with all the gathered information."

On Jan. 31, Vos was taken to bond court where a $100,000 bond was set. His next hearing date was set for Feb. 27, at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.

In a Saturday, Jan. 31 letter written to parents, Prospect Heights School Dist. 23 Supt. Dr. Greg Guarrine states, "I regret to inform you that grave allegations have been made against a member of our staff, Mr. Ronald Vos, Computer Education Teacher at MacArthur Middle School. On Sept. 4, 2008, the day misconduct allegations about Mr. Ron Vos surfaced from the Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services, the administration took immediate action to suspend him and prohibited him from being on the school campus while an investigation was conducted by DCFS and the Prospect Heights Police Dept. This weekend, after an extensive and thorough investigation, Mr. Vos was charged with criminal sexual assault on a former MacArthur student. The safety and welfare of our students is our primary concern. We encourage former and current students to come forward with information regarding allegations of misconduct involving Mr. Vos."

Morris said as of right now there is only one victim police are aware of.

"We are not looking into if there were anymore victims, but if anyone wants to come forward, they can contact the school or the police department."

"DCFS is investigating allegations of abuse in this case based on a report we received Sept. 4, 2008," said Kendall Marlowe, DCFS spokesman. "The investigation is ongoing."

An attempt by the Journal to contact Guarrine and Vos' family for comment was unsuccessful. ..Source.. by RICHARD MAYER Assistant Managing Editor