Teacher arrested in sexual assault investigation

By Audrey Wise

June 3, 2014 Updated Jun 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Maury Beelman, 34, was arrested Tuesday morning and is in the Peoria County Jail.

He is a band teacher at Peoria District 150's Roosevelt Magnet School. That's where police allege an inappropriate relationship started with one of his students.

Peoria Police say a relationship started with a female student when she was in 8th grade and Beelman was her band teacher.

A former band student Tiara Early said she never thought Beelman would do anything like this, "He was nice, goofy, helpful, friendly. He wasn't overly friendly. He showed us all the same equal respect. "

The victim has since graduated high school. There is no word on how old she is now.

Peoria Police said the investigation started Monday after a teacher at Peoria Central High School told administrators. Apparently, the student told this other teacher about her relationship with Beelman.

Beelman's neighbor Dick Gillett said he saw police looking for Beelman at his apartment Monday. The neighbor is also stunned to hear why.

"He was a nice enough guy," said Gillett.

The student and Beelman have both been interviewed by detectives who say they confirm their relationship.

One former District 150 parent says this falls on the person, not the school district.

"I do believe that teachers should be held at a higher standard than most everybody else cause you're trusting that person with your child longer than you actually have your child. They spend more of their time at school than they do at home," said Evonne Fleming.

“We take these accusations seriously,” said Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. “We will continue to fully cooperate with Peoria Police and provide whatever support is necessary through the entire investigation.”

The Peoria County State's Attorney says he continues to look at the case.

Maury Beelman is expected to be in bonding court Wednesday afternoon.

The investigation is ongoing.

If you have any information on this case, or any other investigation, please call the Peoria Police Dept at 673-4521, or Crime Stoppers at 673-9000.

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