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CHARLESTON -- A former Charleston school substitute teacher indicated in court Thursday that he'll voluntarily return to Texas to face a child indecency case.

During a court hearing for Adrian Rivas, his attorney said he'll travel to Texas after a bond hearing there, also scheduled for Thursday, took place.

Rivas was in court on a Coles County fugitive from justice case but action on formal extradition wasn't needed based on the indication that he'll go to Texas on his own.

Rivas was jailed since his arrest on Feb. 9 until he posted bond on Wednesday.

Rivas, 39, was arrested outside Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston when U.S. Marshals served him with the fugitive from justice warrant.

The arrest took place "outside the view of children," according to Charleston police.

Charleston's school superintendent said the arrest "was not associated" with the school district and there have been no reports of any inappropriate conduct concerning Rivas in Charleston.

In court Thursday, Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien agreed with the request from Public Defender Anthony Ortega to modify Rivas' bond conditions to allow him to travel out of Illinois.

Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales didn't object to the bond modification but did request that Rivas be ordered to surrender his passport, which O'Brien allowed.

Rivas declined to comment on the case after he exited the courtroom following Thursday's hearing.

The incident that led to Rivas' arrest took place when he was living in Texas in December 2016, when a 14-year-old girl claimed he "touched her in inappropriate areas" while babysitting his children, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

When the Texas county's sheriff's deputies tried to contact Rivas about the incident in July of last year, they were told he no longer lived there, according to the report on the newspaper's website.

The court website for Montgomery County, Texas, from where the warrant was issued, doesn't show any cases against Rivas and attempts to contact authorities there for information weren't successful.

The Coles County fugitive from justice case against Rivas alleges that he's charged in Texas with indecency with a child and he "fled to avoid prosecution."

When asked about the matter, Charleston school Superintendent Todd Vilardo said there's "no indication" of any inappropriate conduct by Rivas while he was substitute teaching.

Vilardo said the school district posted information on its website about Rivas' arrest after it took place.

He said there was no text or email alert to parents on the day of the arrest because students were safe and district officials wanted to avoid the possibility of unneeded concern.

However, Megan Merrill, who has a child who attends Jefferson, said some parents were concerned about having to hear about the arrest from their children.

"As parents, it would have been good to hear it from the school," Merrill said, adding that would have helped parents to respond to the news.

She added that she thinks authorities "did everything else right" with how the arrest was handled.

Vilardo said any different handling of a similar incident "depends on the situation." He repeated his statement about not wanting to cause unnecessary concern about a situation when students were safe.

There were also personnel requirements that meant the district couldn't release any information until after Rivas' arrest was public record, he added.

Vilardo said Rivas went through the required employment background check "well before" the Texas warrant was issued in January. The school district provided a document Thursday indicating the background check did take place.

Rivas had been a substitute teacher in the school district since Oct. 18, according to information the district released about his arrest last week.

Other records the school district released based on a Freedom of Information Act request from the JG-TC were a substitute profile; an acknowledgement of mandated reporter status; an acknowledgement of receipt of drug, alcohol and tobacco free workplace policy; and a substitute teacher authorization (see attachment).


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