A former substitute teacher was charged after he inappropriately touched two 17-year-old girls and sent a photo of his genitals to a 14-year-old girl, according to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.
Justin Beaton, 28, of Racine, was charged with two felony counts of child enticement, two counts of sexual assault by school staff and exposing a child to harmful materials. If convicted of all charges, Beaton faces up to 65 years six months in prison and/or fined up to $230,000.
Beaton was a substitute teacher at Horlick High School and Case High School, but he is no longer employed there, according to Racine Unified School District officials.
According to the criminal complaint, a Case High School student told police that Beaton sent her a photo of his penis on a social media sharing site over Christmas break. An officer with the Mount Pleasant Police Department also found text messages between Beaton and two 17-year-old girls that were sexual in nature. On separate dates, he arranged to meet with the girls individually. Beaton touched the girls inappropriately, but they didn’t have sex.
Dirk Jensen, assistant district attorney for the Racine County District Attorney’s Office, asked for the bond to stay at $60,000,
“Basically this was an individual that was entrusted with children and instead he basically manipulated them,” Jensen said.
But Beaton’s attorney Pat Cafferty said the bond was “extremely excessive” because the purpose of the bond is to make sure that Beaton will appear in court and protect the public.
“I don’t think there is any reason to believe that he is a flight risk, you can see from the complaint that he was interviewed by the police and it makes it clear that he was aware that there was an investigation taking place and he made no effort to flee the jurisdiction,” Cafferty said.
Beaton was arrested at his parent’s home whom he lives with. Cafferty also pointed out that the allegations made were that Beaton touched the girls, but didn’t have sex with them.
“They two girls were both 17 and ordinarily that would have been a misdemeanor, but because of his position at the school — and I recognize this correctly — that he is charged with felonies at this point in time,” Cafferty said.
Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a cash bond of $5,000 and a signature bond of $50,000 at Beaton’s initial appearance on Tuesday. Under the conditions of his bond, Beaton was ordered to be on a GPS monitor, not have contact with the victims, and not have access to social media, a smart phone or computer.
A preliminary hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. March 23 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.