The leader of an after-school dance program at a Northwest Side high school is accused of sexually abusing two underage students, one of whom he had invited to his home under the guise of providing private lessons, prosecutors said.
Bryon Ortega, 19, was charged this week with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, felony sexual assault and two counts related to child pornography after allegedly abusing two boys on two separate occasions this year.
A Cook County judge on Thursday issued Ortega a $50,000 D bond, meaning he must pay $5,000 to be released from jail.
Ortega is the club leader and dance instructor at the Latin dance club, an after-school program for students at Roosevelt High School, according to Cook County prosecutors. Both of the alleged victims in this case – who are 14 and 16 – are current students.
On Sept. 10, Ortega texted one of the students and invited him to his home in the 3700 block of North Sacramento for a private dance lesson, prosecutors said. After a quick dance lesson, Ortega invited the boy into his bedroom where he showed him a sexually explicit video of Ortega and another person, prosecutors said.
Ortega then sexually abused the boy, ordering him not to tell anyone, prosecutors said. While that was happening, Ortega began recording his actions and told the boy she had a “crush” on him, prosecutors said.
Months later, on November 19, Ortega reportedly sent a message to the 14-year-old boy inviting him to get some food. After picking him up and taking him to a McDonald’s, they drove to a nearby parking lot where Ortega offered the boy $200 to watch him masturbate, prosecutors said.
Ortega allegedly started masturbating and grabbing the boy’s genitals before the boy pushed Ortega and told him to leave. Prosecutors said Ortega then showed the boy sexually explicit phone videos of him before driving him home.
The 16-year-old boy eventually told his parents what happened, and the abuse was reported to Chicago police Nov. 26, according to prosecutors. The second alleged victim reported his abuse to both the 16-year-old and Roosevelt’s principal, who contacted police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Police interviewed both students last week and each identified Ortega as the perpetrator, prosecutors said. Investigators also recovered text messages between Ortega and the 14-year-old in which Ortega allegedly apologized for what he had done and referred to the $200 payment he had offered the boy.
Ortega was arrested on Tuesday, and although he admitted offering the 14-year-old money, he denied actually masturbating in front of him. Investigators searched Ortega’s phone and allegedly found multiple pictures and videos depicting child pornography.
Thursday afternoon, a Chicago Public Schools spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If Ortega is able to post bail, he will be placed under electronic monitoring and prevented from contacting the alleged victims or Roosevelt High School. He is due back in court for a hearing on December 27.
Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431