MASCOUTAH, Ill. (KSDK) - A part-time school maintenance worker has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse.
Paul J. McNicol, 21, is charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and six counts of criminal sexual abuse.
Mascoutah police say the charges stem from an investigation that started Monday after they learned McNicol had been in a relationship with female who is now 16-years-old. During the investigation, police discovered McNicol had also been involved with a 14-year-old girl who attends Mascoutah Middle School.
Chief Bruce Fleshren says this inappropriate relationship included sneaking out at night, and meeting up here and there.
McNicol worked as a part-time maintenance worker for the Mascoutah School District and mowed the grass at Mascoutah Middle School. Police say there is no evidence that shows McNicol met the victims while working at the school or that any of the criminal acts were committed at the school.
"He apparently met both of them either through mutual friends or other contacts in social places that had nothing to do with him working at the school," said Chief Fleshren.
"I have a son at the grade school," said parent Jennifer Gischer. "I didn't even know stuff like that was going around town like that; makes me a little nervous."
"It's disheartening. It's surprising. We chose Mascoutah because there weren't many, I think there was one registered sex offender, when we chose Mascoutah as the town for us to raise our son," added parent Kandi Mensing.
Mensing says it's sad to see something like this happen in a small town where everybody knows everybody.
"I understand that it was consensual. However, the guy being 21, I don't know how consensual that can be. And it's kind of disgusting, really because she's probably an easy target for him," she said.
"He is the adult. He's the one that's responsible for his activities and his behavior. And that's why he's the one being charged," said Chief Fleshren.
McNicoldoes not have a prior criminal history.
NewsChannel 5 called the superintendent, but nobody answered.