Downers Grove South assistant track coach resigns following child pornography charges

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An assistant girls track coach at Downers Grove South High School has resigned after he was found in possession of child pornography, Community High School District 99 officials said.

“We wanted to let you know that we were made aware today of a criminal complaint filed in federal court that alleges DGS assistant girls track coach Glenn Messmer, who resigned from District 99 yesterday, was found in possession of child pornography,” District 99 Superintendent Hank Thiele said in a statement sent Wednesday to the District 99 community.

No District 99 students are believed to be involved or included as victims in the case, Thiele said.

“At this point, neither we nor the authorities are aware of any inappropriate interactions with our students; however, we wanted to make you aware of this situation,” Thiele said in the statement.

Homeland Security Investigations agents on Tuesday executed a search warrant at Messmer’s residence in Darien.

During the search of the residence, agents identified multiple files on a desktop computer located in an office that appeared to contain child pornography, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Messmer admitted that he downloaded at least one of the files that contained child pornography from the internet. He added that he knew the minor depicted in the file was less than 16 years old, the complaint stated.

Messmer was not a full-time employee of the district and was serving solely in the capacity as assistant track coach prior to his resignation, according to the statement.

He served as an assistant girls track coach at Downers Grove South from April 13, 2021, until April 25, 2023. He also volunteered as a track coach in spring of 2019 at Downers Grove South and during the 2019-20 school year both at Downers Grove South and Downers Grove North high schools. He was a volunteer at the Downers Grove South track summer camp in 2020, according to the statement.

Messmer was not a teacher at District 99, but passed a background check before he interacted with any District 99 student, district officials said.

In addition to coaching in District 99, Messmer joined the Lake Forest College women’s lacrosse team coach staff in 2022 where he worked on “all qualities of athleticism, especially speed, agility and footwork,” according to the college’s website. Messmer remains listed as assistant lacrosse coach on the college’s website.

Messmer is a 2022 graduate of Marquette University. He has a degree in exercise science from Elmhurst University, according to the Lake Forest College website.

Members of the District 99 community are asked to contact Thiele at 630-795-7101 or Associate Superintendent/Title IX Coordinator Gina Ziccardi at 630-795-7111 they have any concerns they wish to discuss regarding Messmer or are aware of anything inappropriate occurring.