DeKalb’s Huntley Middle School student teacher, 23, charged with sexual abuse of 14-year-old student

Middle school student teacher Quinyatta Hutchinson charged with sex abuse of minor on school grounds

Quinyatta L. Hutchinson, 23, of the 900 block of Crane Drive, DeKalb, is charged with grooming and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class 2 felony. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in jail. (Inset photo provided by DeKalb County Jail, building photo by Shaw Local News Network)

DeKALB – A 23-year-old Huntley Middle School student teacher has been accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student on school grounds, after he allegedly groomed the teen for months, according to DeKalb County court records.

Quinyatta L. Hutchinson, 23, of the 900 block of Crane Drive, DeKalb, was charged with grooming and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class 2 felony. If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison. Hutchinson is a full-time Northern Illinois University student, his defense attorney Gary Johnson said.

A Huntley Middle School employee on Friday afternoon walked in on Hutchinson and the student and found them alone in a classroom behind a cabinet, according to court records. The behavior was reported to DeKalb police, and Hutchinson immediately was removed, DeKalb School District 428 officials said.

During a police interview later that day, the student told police that Hutchinson allegedly sexually abused them during the lunch period on Thursday.

The student also told DeKalb police Hutchinson had been exchanging electronic communications for months and the two allegedly had communicated often with messages of a sexual nature, according to court records.

When police searched the student’s phone, they discovered messages had been exchanged with a contact later alleged as Hutchinson, who asked the student to perform a sexual act on him the next time they saw each other, according to court records.

In the police interview, the student also told authorities the two often met during school hours and engaged in sexual acts multiple times between March 1 and April 14, court records allege.

DeKalb police arrested Hutchinson on Friday on a felony grooming charge, records show. He appeared before DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Pedersen for a bond hearing Saturday. Petersen set Hutchinson’s bond at $5,000, and Hutchinson posted $500 of that to be released from jail Saturday.

School District 428, Huntley Middle School sign

Hutchinson was arrested again Tuesday after a DeKalb County judge issued a new $500,000 warrant for him.

In a bond hearing Wednesday, Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick ordered the $500,000 bond to remain. Hutchinson would have to post 10% of that, or $50,000 to be released from jail.

He’s expected back in court Monday morning for a bond review hearing. Johnson said he planned to file a motion to reduce Hutchinson’s bond citing his lack of criminal history.

Hutchinson did not speak during his bond hearing except to acknowledge the judge.

“We’re asking that he be released on his recognizance,” Johnson said, imploring that Hutchinson be released without needing to post money. “He’s a full-time student at Northern Illinois University, does part-time work, graduates in a few weeks. Most importantly, he doesn’t have any prior arrests.”

Buick ordered that if Hutchinson posts bond, he should not contact the victim or contact or reside with anyone under age 18.

NIU spokesman Joe King confirmed Hutchinson is a student there.

“The university has been made aware that an NIU student was arrested by DeKalb Police,” King said in a statement. “Based on information contained in the arrest record, the university has taken appropriate actions pending the outcome of the student conduct process.”

When reached, DeKalb School District 428 spokesperson Rita Elliott declined to share further details, but referred to the district sending two emails to middle school parents and guardians, one Saturday and one Wednesday afternoon.

A message from district administrators went out at 1:37 p.m. Saturday to Huntley Middle School parents, however, indicating that a student teacher had been “removed from assignment.” The email did not state the name of the student teacher, describe any details on an alleged incident or indicate what classroom or grade level the alleged incident occurred.

District officials said they became aware of an incident late Friday.

“That matter involved a student teacher assigned to a certain class,” the email stated. “While this matter is being investigated by the District and appropriate authorities, the student teacher has been removed from assignment. We will continue to monitor the situation while the investigations are on-going and keep you apprised as may be appropriate.”

In a followup email sent to all District 428 families about 1:50 p.m. Wednesday, district officials again did not identify any employee or student involved, but said the investigation into a matter – which officials wrote involved a “student teacher assigned to certain classes” – made aware to them remains ongoing.

“Please understand that we are not able to provide information on active investigations,” district officials wrote. “The appropriate investigations and steps are being taken. Individuals who may need to be involved will be contacted through the investigations.”

The email also included resources available to parents to help seek crisis response guidance for their children, and offered resources for students seeking mental health help at school.

The district also pointed parents and guardians to resources for what to do if their child discloses abuse, how to report child sexual abuse and steps to ensuring a safe community for children.

This story has been edited as of 6:11 p.m. April 19, 2023 to correct an earlier version which misspelled the last name of DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Pedersen. This story was updated April 21, 2022 to clarify that the Wednesday, April 19 email was sent to all District 428 families.

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