Frankfort teacher freed from jail in grooming case: records

Teacher suspended from Summit Hill School District 161

A Frankfort teacher who has been suspended from a school district was released from jail after posting bond in a case where he was charged with soliciting and grooming a child to perform sexual acts.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jack Mecher, 51, of the 22500 block of Merritton Road was released from the Will County jail after his father posted 10% of his $250,000 bond, court records show.

Mecher works as an eighth-grade math teacher for Summit Hill Junior High School in Frankfort.

Mecher has been “suspended pending further investigation,” said Superintendent Barb Rains of Summit Hill School District 161.

“The district is fully cooperating with the Will County Sheriff's Office,” Rains said.

A criminal complaint filed against Mecher alleged that between Feb. 1 and Monday, he intended to commit the offense of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse by knowingly soliciting a female minor to “perform an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct.”

Mecher has also been charged with unlawful grooming by using a cellphone to solicit the same child to “engage in an act of sexual conduct,” the complaint said.

On Sept. 9, Will County sheriff detectives met with the mother of a minor child who wished to report that her daughter was having an "inappropriate sexting relationship" with her former seventh grade teacher, police said.

Police said the mother identified Mecher as the teacher.

The daughter said on Sept. 6 that she and Mecher had been having an inappropriate relationship in Mecher's Summit Hill Junior High School classroom, according to police, and detectives investigated the allegations.

The child was interviewed by a forensic interviewer with the Will County Children's Advocacy Center.

On Tuesday, Mecher was taken into custody before he reported to work, police said.

"Detectives at the Will County Sheriff's Office Public Safety Complex questioned Mecher about the relationship and he made numerous statements to detectives which indicated that the outcry made by the victim was a valid complaint," police said.