The Diocese of Joliet has issued a statement regarding the recent arrest of former teacher Jeremy Hylka on charges of grooming and traveling to meet a minor. Hylka had been a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Lockport at the time of his arrest and parents at that school have questions regarding his employment. The Diocese says that Hylka applied for a teaching position at St. Joseph after having just resigned from Joliet Catholic. The statement says that Hylka was vetted like any other candidate.
The Diocese also stated that Hylka was put on leave from his teaching position in January of 2021 after becoming aware of a Tik Tok video that depicted an adult male lip-synching a song while text scrolled behind him. The text referenced a high school experience in which he was propositioned or groomed by a teacher, who was not named. A source contacted the diocese identifying the man in the video by name. Hylka was on leave for two week out of what the Diocese called “an abundance of caution.”
The Diocese further stated that they believed Hylka should be on administrative leave while the matter was investigated. They also said that they reached out to the man in the video but that he declined to talk to diocesan officials. The statement also stated Hylka’s leave status was not disclosed to parents “because it was a confidential personnel matter and because the account in the video could not be clearly linked to Hylka.”
Hylka is currently admitted in a nearby hospital as a patient. He has informed Joliet Police that he will turn himself in upon his release but that a release date is unknown.