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Former Limestone student speaks publicly for first time since accusing teacher of sexual misconduct

BARTONVILLE - The former student that accused a Limestone Community High School teacher of sexual misconduct spoke publicly for the first time since the accusations on Tuesday night.

Eighteen-year-old  Alex Menefee filed a lawsuit on Sept. 19 against the Limestone Community High School District No. 310 superintendent Allan Gresham, principal Jerolee Look and teacher William Wood. Menefee said Wood has a long-standing history of making advancements toward female students, and she alleges he groped her several times in January of 2017 at the high school.

Tuesday at the Limestone school board meeting, Menefee asked that Gresham and Look resign from their positions.

Menefee was joined by her parents and a handful of supporters. She said if Gresham and Look do not resign, the school board should take action to remove them. The lawsuit stated Wood's actions were allegedly reported to district leaders, including Gresham and Look, but no effort was made by staff to prevent further harassment.

"Those of you at the table in front of me have had many opportunities to right the wrongs inflicted on Limestone students, and you have failed," Menefee told leaders. "You have failed the students, the staff, the taxpayers, and yourselves."

In October, Menefee's attorney Nina Gougis said numerous people have come forward about Wood allegedly sexually assaulting them as well. Many people, including Menefee, notified Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell's office. 

Wood, 59 of Bartonville, is facing one count of aggravated battery, a Class 3 Felony, for allegedly grasping Menefee around the time the lawsuit stated. Wood was arrested back in November but is out on bond.

"I have had many sleepless nights in the past two years, trying to figure out what I did wrong," Menefee told the board. "I can't imagine how some of you are able to sleep at all."

Wood was placed on paid administrative leave after the lawsuit came to light. 

The school district declined to comment at the board meeting, other than it cannot speak on personal matters. 

A jury trial date is scheduled for April 22. 

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