Cahokia High School in shock after police say Mario Hunt exposed student to HIV

9:39 PM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

CAHOKIA, Ill. (KSDK) - A teacher's aide and coach could have spread HIV to boys at a Cahokia high school. Mario Hunt, 35, is charged with sexually abusing a student on campus and knowingly exposing the 17-year-old to the virus.

Police say there could be other victims.

Hunt was suspended last week when the investigation started and now sits behind bars with a $300,000 bond.

There is shock and fear on the campus of Cahokia High School.

"I'm pissed off because these are babies, you are going to destroy their future before it starts?" said Temera Gilmore. 

Hunt has been charged with sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and transmission of HIV. Police tell us the victim was a 17-year-old student at the time and it happened in 2011.

Still, parents are worried there may be more victims.

"Kids are going to catch hell, anybody that's ever went with a boy from the track team or any boy that they suspect is gay, they are going to be labeled," said Gilmore.

"The district will obviously take any appropriate measures that are needed to be taken once the whole situation is finalized," said Cahokia Superintendent Art Ryan.

Gilmore says the appropriate measure is to cut the school year short.

"They should shut this school down until everything blows over because every day there is going to be chaos and hell," she said.

Hunt was not only a teacher's aide, but a coach for the boy's track and for girl's volleyball.

"He was always mature about his job and professional in every aspect," said student and volleyball player Tyree Hall.

Students say the track team met with the high school principal Monday afternoon and individual interviews with those on the boys' track team are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

"Horrible and it's shameful, for him to act like he's really for the kids and he's not," said Gilmore.

The charge of transmission of HIV doesn't necessarily mean the student has the virus and if he does that could be an additional charge against Hunt.

Some students told us they may get tested for HIV themselves just to be safe.


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