Former teacher facing child porn charges released on bond

Steven Habay / photo from Highland Park police
Steven Habay / photo from Highland Park police

A former Highland Park High School substitute teacher, who was charged this summer with possession of child pornography and cyberstalking, has been released on bond under conditions including a 24-hour curfew.

Steven Habay, charged with seven counts of child pornography, a Class 2 felony carrying a potential sentence of three to seven years in prison, was released Tuesday from Lake County Jail on 10 percent of a $200,000 bond.

His release followed a hearing in which court services personnel reported to Judge Daniel Shanes that Habay, 40, would have no access to computers at his parents’ Highland Park residence, where he will be staying under curfew.

Assistant State’s Attorney George Pappas said Habay’s bond conditions also mandate no contact with the alleged victims in his cases.

At the request of Haybay’s defense, a psychological evaluation was ordered last week.

Habay was charged July 16 after images of child pornography were allegedly found on his computer, which was seized by police in late May during a separate cyberstalking investigation.

He was originally charged with cyberstalking for allegedly posting “inappropriate communications” online after he lost his job with the Township District 113 high school on May 28. According to police, he posted “disparaging rants related to his release.”

A police investigation into the posts led to a computer IP address registered to Habay.

He was arrested May 30 at his parents’ residence, and charged with cyberstalking, a class 4 felony, and harassment by electronic communications, a class B misdemeanor. Police also confiscated his computer.

According to Highland Park police, a computer forensic examiner discovered images on the computer that violate child pornography statutes. Police say the photos and images appeared to be obtained through Internet searches and not created from personal interactions with children.

Habay’s trial on the child pornography charges is currently scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

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