Former MHS teacher pleads guilty; gets 3 years in prison


OTTAWA – Former Mendota High School employee John G. Holzman has been sentenced to three years in prison for sexual abuse of a student while he was a teacher and coach at MHS.

Holzman, 57, of Mendota, pleaded guilty on March 12 to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which is a Class 2 felony with a base sentencing range of three to seven years. A similar charge against Holzman was dropped in the negotiated plea.

The case was heard by Judge H. Chris Ryan in Ottawa.

The investigation of Holzman began on May 8, 2019 when the Mendota Police Department was contacted by school officials. MPD began working with the high school, LaSalle County State’s Attorney and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to address the report. At that time, Holzman was placed on leave from his teaching position at MHS.

On May 28, the MHS Board of Education held a special meeting and accepted the retirement of Holzman, which was effective on May 31. He was a long-time science teacher and coach at MHS.

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