HAMMOND | A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a former Morton High School teacher accused of asking underage female students to send him sexually explicit photos by cellphone to be held without bond, his attorney said.
In a federal complaint, Jon Erik Lilly, 27, of Cedar Lake, is accused of possessing visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
A detention hearing was held in Lilly's case Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, where a judge ordered he be detained, said the former teacher's attorney, Felipe Sanchez.
Sanchez said he was disappointed in the court's order. Attempts to reach a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office late Wednesday were unsuccessful.
At an earlier hearing, Lilly waived his rights to be indicted within 30 days of his March arrest, agreeing to an extension of time of 90 days, federal court records show.
The mother of one of the girls, who reportedly sent Lilly images, called the judge's order a blessing. The Times is choosing not to name the mother.
“It's like the weight of the world has come off my shoulders,” the mother said in an interview with The Times following the hearing.
According to the complaint, four of Lilly's former students told investigators they sent the teacher sexually explicit photos at his request.
One of the girls told investigators she and Lilly had engaged in a months-long sexual relationship when she was 17, federal court records show.
School City of Hammond Superintendent Walter Watkins said Lilly resigned from the district after administrators suspended him when the allegations arose.
Lilly is next scheduled to appear in court in June.