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25
Sep
2012
Harlem Middle School teacher faces 10 sexual abuse charges

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A Harlem Middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave in the wake of 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse of a child.

Darcee Baney, 27, of Loves Park worked for the district for five years as a science teacher and as a girls’ seventh-grade basketball coach.

The alleged offenses occurred between Nov. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, but were not reported to authorities until early August. Because they occurred in Rockford, the case was investigated by the Rockford Police Department.

At the time, the victim was 17 years old and Baney was varsity basketball coach at Belvidere High School.

“I thought she was great,” said Alyssa Reeverts, a senior on the 2008-09 Belvidere team. “She was young and she was great with us as players. I didn’t feel any awkwardness or that she was trying anything. She kept it very professional whenever I was around her.”

Baney has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 5, said Harlem School District Superintendent Julie M. Morris, who was with Bruscato at the news conference.

Harlem Middle School students are encouraged to contact their principals if they have any concerns. Parents who have questions can call Morris, 815-654-4588.