A former long-time teacher at Joliet Catholic Academy, Jeremy Hylka is represented by Plainfield attorney JohnPaul Ivec.
JOLIET, IL — Jeremy Hylka, the 44-year-old fired Diocese of Joliet teacher who has been charged with grooming and traveling to meet a child, walked into the Will County Courthouse in downtown Joliet on Thursday morning for his arraignment hearing.
Besides wearing a facial mask into the courtroom, Hylka wore tan slacks, a tie and a long-sleeve, navy-colored, buttoned shirt for his appearance in front of Will County Circuit Judge Dave Carlson. Hylka has hired Plainfield criminal defense lawyer JohnPaul Ivec to represent him.
Ivec told Judge Carlson he was entering a not-guilty plea on behalf of his client, who stood next to Ivec and did not offer any comments during the proceeding in Courtroom 405.
During Thursday’s hearing, there was some confusion about the five-count criminal indictment filed against Hylka.
On May 27, Joliet Patch broke the news that Hylka would be facing a total of five criminal charges in connection with his April 27 visit to the Joliet McDonald’s restaurant on Jefferson Street to, according to prosecutors, meet an underage boy for the purposes of a sexual encounter.
The five criminal charges are: traveling to meet a child, indecent solicitation of a child, grooming, another charge of indecent solicitation of a child and a charge of solicitation to meet a child.
At Thursday’s arraignment, Judge Carlson told prosecutors and the defense lawyer that he found a court order issued by Will County Circuit Judge Sarah Jones sealing “all matters dealing with the arrest warrant.”
Judge Carlson spent several minutes asking prosecutors why Hylka’s criminal complaint became public May 27 in defiance of Judge Jones’ order.
“Who opened this file up?” Carlson asked everyone.
After several minutes of uncertainty regarding the judge’s question, Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Christopher Koch alerted the judge to an online court order issued May 27 that opened the criminal complaint for Hylka’s case.
With that issue resolved, Judge Carlson set July 2 for Hylka’s next court appearance. Ivec reminded the judge he has filed a motion with the court requiring Joliet police and Will County prosecutors to preserve any and all evidence in their possession against Hylka including electronic messages on numerous social media platforms including Snapchat.
Hylka has remained free since being booked into the Joliet Police Department’s custody around 6:30 a.m. and posting bail May 11. His bail was set at $100,000 last month, which means he can remain free after posting 10 percent.
In addition to facing five criminal charges, Hylka’s wife has filed for divorce against him at the Will County Courthouse.
She also obtained an order of protection to keep Hylka away from her house in New Lenox as well as their small children.
For nearly two weeks in late April and early May, Hylka remained under psychiatric care at the Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital in New Lenox. Court records at the Will County Courthouse indicated that Hylka was threatening to take his own life.