Harlem Teacher Arrested for Sexual Abuse

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- A 7th grade Harlem Middle School science teacher has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a student athlete from another school.

27-year-old Darcee Baney has been a science teacher at Harlem Middle School for four years when she was a first-year teacher during the 2008-2009 school year. She also coached varsity girls basketball at Belvidere High School, which is when prosecutors say she sexually abused a 17-year-old player on the team.

Investigators say there were five incidents of sexual abuse that took place between November 2008 and March 2009. They did not learn about the abuse until March of this year, which is when they started investigating.

Baney was a star high school basketball player at Harlem. At the time of the alleged abuse, she was 23 and the victim was 17. Harlem's superintendent says Baney also coached 7th grade girls basketball at Harlem Middle School and the district never had any complaints from students about her in the classroom or on the court.

"We are very concerned about our students, their safety and our staff, and how they're processing through and our parents, when you hear of matters like this, in other school districts you're concerned for all of those parties,” said Dr. Julie Morris, Harlem Schools Superintendent.

Baney is on paid administrative leave. She turned herself into Boone County jail this morning and posted a $1000 bond to get out. It should also be noted that the alleged incidents of abuse didn't happen at school, rather they all took place in the city of Rockford. Baney was supposed to coach 7th grade basketball at Harlem again this year, but obviously, the season has not started yet.

Police are conducting an investigation, and schools are conducting a separate investigation. Baney will be back in court in October. 23 News spoke to her husband, but he cannot comment on the case on advice of their attorney. The State's Attorney’s office says there may be other victims, and anyone with information is urged to come forward.

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