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BREAKING: Local teacher arrested for criminal sexual assault

PEORIA, Ill. - A Peoria Public Schools teacher has been arrested for criminal sexual assault with force.

Peoria Police arrested Phillip Earhart Monday morning.

As reported from last week, WMBD/WYZZ obtained a criminal report from the Peoria Police Department about Earhart.

The case referred to a relationship between Earhart and a 17 year old student. It also references a previous complaint about a "meal together at an area restaurant."

Earhart was placed on administrative leave in January.

Peoria Public Schools released this following statement:

On Thursday, January 25th, Peoria Public Schools administration received a report alleging an inappropriate relationship between Richwoods High School teacher Phil Earhart and a student. As a result, Peoria Police and DCFS were asked to begin an investigation. 

Per our regular procedure when an investigation is started, staff met with the teacher immediately and placed him on Administrative Leave with pay while the external investigation took place. This measure is in place to protect our students, the accused staff member, and the integrity of the investigation.

We learned on Monday morning (Feb. 12, 2018) that the criminal investigation culminated in the arrest of the teacher.

As this legal matter continues to play out, the teacher currently remains on paid leave.

However, it is important to note that our school district has policies in place that strictly prohibit improper personal relationships between staff and students, and failure to abide to those policies can result in staff disciplinary action, including termination, regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings and following the appropriate due process for the employee. Any action regarding employment will be made public via our human resources report following action by the Board of Education.

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