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Teacher pleads not guilty

PRINCETON -- Gina Purvis pleaded not guilty once again in a Bureau County courtroom. Appearing before LaSalle County Circuit Court Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr., Purvis pleaded not guilty to four additional Class 1 felonies of criminal sexual assault. Purvis, a teacher at Hall High School in Spring Valley, was first indicted Dec. 15 by a Bureau County grand jury on one Class 2 felony of aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a 15-year-old male student. The December indictment came five weeks after Hall officials reported information about the case to the Spring Valley Police Department. The indictment said the sexual abuse allegedly happened, in part, on the property of Hall High School in February. Another Bureau County grand jury indicted Purvis on Wednesday on an additional four counts of committing acts of sexual conduct with the same student between Feb. 13 and April 9. Purvis' attorney, Steven Glink of Chicago, told Ryan a lot of investigation remained to be done. He also said he had recently issued subpoenas for records from the high school and the Department of Children and Family Services, and for material from the alleged victim. Glink noted the teenager was in the courtroom and had not brought the material with him. Bureau County State's Attorney Patrick Herrmann was accompanied at the prosecutor's table by Wheaton attorney Joseph Miller. Miller represented the high school in its motion to quash a subpoena by the defense for certain school records. "A lot of people want subpoenas quashed," Ryan said. "Let's get all the subpoenas issued and the responses written before I rule, so I'm not doing this piecemeal." Glink asked the trial date of April 18 be vacated to allow time for his investigation, which includes interviewing one of the prosecution's witnesses who is currently in the Navy. Ryan set the next hearing for 3 p.m. March 3, and a trial date of June 27. Following the arraignment, Purvis went to the Bureau County Sheriff's Department where she had a photograph taken of a tattoo. Glink said the picture was taken because the teenager had described a tattoo Purvis has. "Yes, she has a tattoo," Glink said. "Anyone at school could describe it." Purvis, formerly of Tiskilwa, now living in Oswego, had faced three to seven years in prison if convicted of the single count charge, which is also punishable by any combination of probation, jail time, fines and/or community service. The additional charges are punishable by four to 15 years mandatory incarceration, per charge. Purvis remains free from custody on bond.

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