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Lake Co. child therapist charged with having sex with teen
By Lee Filas and Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Cori Lynn Rivelli


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Published: 8/31/2009 10:24 AM | Updated: 8/31/200 10:11 PM

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A 27-year-old therapist at Kids Hope United in Lake Villa is in Lake County jail facing allegations that she had sex with a 14-year-old resident of the nonprofit child advocacy center, officials said.

Cori Lynn Rivelli, of the 800 block of Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville, was charged by the Lake County state's attorney's office with one count of criminal sexual assault after her arrest Thursday afternoon, Assistant State's Attorney Mary Stanton said.

Officials said the incident remains under investigation and that additional charges are pending.

A staff member of Kids Hope United overheard the male victim telling another resident of the facility on Milwaukee Avenue in Lake Villa that he had been having sex with Rivelli since June, Stanton said. That staff member called Lake Villa police.

After the allegation, the teen was removed from Kids Hope United and taken to the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center, Stanton said, where he told police that he had sex with Rivelli in her Libertyville apartment, at the Lake Villa facility and during an authorized trip downstate to visit his family home.

The woman also told another staffer at Kids Hope United about the incident, Stanton said. That person also turned over information to police.

Rivelli is expected to appear in Lake County court Tuesday morning, officials said.

On their Web site at, the organization describes itself as a private, nonprofit human service organization dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. The organization serves more than 15,000 children and families in multiple states and offers prevention, intervention and community-based services.

Mark McHugh, executive director of Kids Hope United, said in a statement: "Staff at Kids Hope United recently learned of alleged inappropriate behavior involving an employee that is in clear violation of the policies of our organization. We took immediate action reporting the incident to (the Department of Children and Family Services) and the police and placing the employee on administrative leave. Kids Hope United continues to work with the appropriate authorities to ensure a complete and thorough investigation. The safety of the children and youth entrusted to our care is our top priority."