Court Sets Bond for Beelman; New Insights Revealed

Published 06/04 2014 06:27PM

Updated 06/04 2014 06:31PM

PEORIA - In Maury Beelman’s first court appearance, prosecutors said the Roosevelt Magnet School Band teacher do not have sex with the teenage girl until she was a sophomore in high school.

He has been ordered not to have any contact with his alleged victim.
"We hold people who are in positions of trust to a standard that they not engage in this conduct,” said State’s Attorney Jerry Brady.
Authorities say 34-year-old Maury Beelman’s alleged relationship with the teenage girl began when she was in eighth grade.

Prosecutors say it turned sexual when she was just a sophomore in high school

"With a minor, you have the determination whether or not there could be parental misconduct in the way of the abuse or neglect could come into play."

While the teacher and alleged victim kept the relationship a secret, Brady says it is the parents’ responsibility to keep an eye on their children and report any sketchy behavior.

"But, you know, what we would hope is that anyone who has an awareness that there's a crime that's been committed that they present that information to proper law enforcement."

We asked an expert at the Center for Prevention of Abuse what you can do to keep your child safe.
Counselor Heidi Van Heuklon works with teens who have been sexually abused by people they trust.

"It definitely starts as a power differential between the two. And many times that child is made to feel by that adult that it is an equal relationship," said Licensed Counselor Heidi Van Heuklon.

Here are some of her suggestions: talk about body safety with your child when they hit puberty; keep that line of communication with your child as they grow up, and monitor the technology your kids are using.

"Reading texts and Facebook accounts and all of those kind of things to see who the kids are communicating with."

And if the sexual abuse is taking place between a teacher and a student, other teachers need to step in. That’s exactly what happened at Peoria High School.

"Teachers are many times the first responders of these situations because kids will go to who they trust to get help."

Beelman’s bond was set at 200-thousand dollars. He will return to court on July 3rd.

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