Dayna Chidester, 51, faces a litany of charges after allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old student in hotels and her car

By Steve Helling
September 27, 2019 03:19 PM
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Credit: Will County State's Attorney's Office

An Illinois high school teacher faces a litany of charges after she allegedly had sex multiple times with a 14-year-old student in hotels and her car.

According to a federal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Dayna Chidester has been charged with child exploitation, sexual abuse of a minor, and creating child pornography. In January, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office charged her with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, indecent solicitation of a child and grooming. Those charges were dropped this week after the federal charges were filed.

Prosecutors allege that Chidester had sexual contact with the boy up to 20 times late last year, and that the 51-year-old teacher traded up to 9,000 texts with him, including at least one naked photo of the child.

Both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times report that many of the alleged trysts were at suburban Chicago hotels. The alleged victim was friends with one of Chidester’s relatives, the newspapers report.

According to the criminal complaint, Chidester was disgusted by her own behavior, and even confided in another student about her conduct. “It’s horrible,” she allegedly texted to another student. “I can go to jail.”• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Chidester, who resigned after being initially charged in Will County in January, faces decades in prison if convicted. The sexual abuse of a minor charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

The child pornography charge stems from a photo that Chidester allegedly took of the boy lying on the floor while he was naked. When police asked the alleged victim why his teacher had taken the photo, he replied, “She said I looked hot,” according to the charging affidavit.

The complaint also states that Chidester gave an interview to police, where she allegedly confessed to investigators that she had an ongoing sexual “relationship” with the teen. She allegedly admitted that she showered him with presents, including a skateboard and a robe.

Chidester has not yet entered a plea. An attorney representing her did not immediately return PEOPLE’s message for comment. She is free on $1 million bond.