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Ex-cheerleading coach guilty of abusing student in Naperville
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff

Bradley Abrahams

 

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Published: 10/6/2009 4:53 PM

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The former owner of cheerleading school in Naperville pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing one of his former students.

Bradley Abrahams, 30, of Aurora, was facing several counts of criminal sexual assault in connection with sexual encounters he had with two former students. He faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced.

He was arrested in May 2008 after the parents of a teenage girl reported the sexual relationship to police. The girl told investigators the relationship began in March 2006 and that she had sex with Abrahams multiple times when she was 13.

News of Abrahams' arrest spurred another former student to step forward in July 2008. She told police she had also been in a sexual relationship with Abrahams in the summer of 2003 when she was 16.

Officials from DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett's office said Abrahams agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in exchange for the other charges being dropped. No sentencing agreement was made with Abrahams as part of the plea deal, they said.

Abrahams previously had been acquitted of misdemeanor battery in 2004 after a 16-year-old girl told authorities he had fondled her inside his former Naperville home. During the trial, Abrahams admitted kissing the girl, but denied knowing she was 16. The girl testified that he went further without her consent. She also said he knew she was 16 because they had discussed her upcoming birthday. The judge in the case said he found the girl's testimony more believable, but there wasn't enough evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt because the girl was unsure of the date of the attack and offered conflicting accounts of what happened.

Tuesday's plea doesn't end Abrahams' legal problems. He is also charged with stealing from his former business partner at ICE Athletics Cheer and Dance. Abrahams is accused of falsifying documents and stealing his former business partner's identity to secure a $10,000 line of credit to pay for car repairs.

His next court date is slated for Dec. 7.