Walter Payton College Preparatory High School was constructed on the Near North side of Chicago in 2000, infused with great public support for its mission to lift up the brightest and best the city had to offer. Being named for Walter Payton, a hallowed figure in Chicago a decade after his passing, enforced the high expectations placed on all involved with the school.
Those expectations took a vicious backfield hit this spring as the head boys’ basketball coach for Walter Payton College Prep was accused of violating two female students over the winter. Yesterday, George Turner was formally charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Chicago police also released details, accusing Turner of seducing the girls numerous times.
According to the State’s Attorney’s office, Turner “befriended the (first) victim”. He fondled and participated in oral sex with one girl in his office and car multiple times. He is also accused of brazenly escorting the girl to an “adult sex store”, purchasing items for her, taking her to a secluded lakefront spot, and using them on her before giving them to her as gifts.
Police only found out about these incidents when Turner allegedly committed similar acts with a second girl, who told the first girl. They went to the authorities at that time.
Turner, 45, did not teach at Payton; he coached boys’ basketball for the last two seasons and coached at the school previously. His 18-year-old son also attends Payton and plays on the team.
Turner’s lawyer was careful to point out Turner’s volunteer work with the homeless, affection for him in the community, and the spurious nature of the charges. No trial date has been set yet.