by: Lee Filas
The trial of a former Grant High School teacher accused of having sex with a student has been postponed until May. Defense attorney Jeff Nutschnig said Lake County prosecutors have offered a plea deal to Amber Kraus, 30, of the 1900 block of Hanley Drive in Mundelein.
Nutschnig would not discuss details of the offer, and whether it includes prison time. However, he ordered a sex offender and mental health evaluation be performed on Kraus in anticipation of the plea deal being worked out. Because the evaluation takes about 45 days to complete, the trial against the former high school science teacher was pushed back to May 2.
Kraus pleaded not guilty in December to counts of criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse with a victim under 17. She faces 15 years in prison if found guilty of the most serious sexual assault charge.
She remains free on bond after posting the required 10 percent of her $100,000 bail.
Kraus resigned from Grant in Fox Lake immediately after the allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student came to light this fall. She had worked at the district for eight years before her resignation was approved by the Grant High School District 124 board Oct. 8.
As part of her bail conditions, she remains on an overnight curfew, is not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 and is not allowed to have contact with the victim. Judge James Booras granted a request by Nutschnig to allow Kraus the ability to travel out of state for work as needed.
Both sides are due back in court April 2 for a case management conference.