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Local

Feds charge former Braidwood teacher with child exploitation

Dayna Chidester
Dayna Chidester

A former Braidwood high school teacher has been federally charged with sexually exploiting a 14-year-old boy of whom she allegedly took a nude photo and with whom she had a sexual relationship with, according to court records.

On Wednesday, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, indecent solicitation of a child and grooming against Dayna Chidester, 51, of Manhattan, in light of the new federal case.

Chidester, a former Reed-Custer High School teacher, had been released from the Will County jail Feb. 1. She is currently detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

A federal complaint alleges that both Chidester and the 14-year-old boy admitted to investigators they engaged in sexual intercourse and exchanged nude photos of themselves.

The boy was in a romantic relationship with Chidester’s child, the complaint said. Investigators found a text message from Chidester where she said she “couldn’t stand it” when the boy spent time with her child, the complaint said.

In another text message, Chidester allegedly said, “I’m a terrible person,” the complaint said.

Investigators found one nude image of the boy on Chidester’s phone that she took in her master bedroom, the complaint said.

Chidester allegedly confessed she had sex with the boy about twice a week and engaged in other sexual conduct. The boy said their sexual relationship began in September 2018.

On Jan. 3, Chidester resigned from Reed-Custer High School after administrators confronted her with allegations of exchanging text messages about drugs with a student.

Manhattan police arrested her the next day.

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