Crime & Courts

Prairie Ridge High School teacher, basketball coach makes first court appearance

Rick Lima went before a judge Wednesday on financial exploitation charges

Rick Lima
Rick Lima

CRYSTAL LAKE – A Prairie Ridge High School physical education teacher and basketball coach made his first court appearance Wednesday on felony charges accusing him of using an elderly woman’s money to buy a home.

The 50-year-old varsity girls basketball coach, Rick Lima, wore a white button-down shirt and pants as he stood before a judge for the first time since his arrest.

Lima was acting under the
alleged victim’s power of attorney when he used the woman’s money to buy a home, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Derek Hyrkas said in an email Wednesday.

Lima, of the 700 block of Nashua Court, Crystal Lake, is out on bond and has hired a private attorney, Michael Krejci, to represent him.

Reached by phone after his arrest, Lima declined to comment on the charges.

Krejci was not available to comment Wednesday.

Lima is listed as a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Elk Grove Village. A representative with the agency confirmed Wednesday evening that Lima is an independent contractor with the business, but said they weren’t aware of the charges.

On July 10, Lima stole more than $50,000 in assets belonging to a woman who was more than 70 years old, according to a two-count complaint filed in McHenry County court.

Crystal Lake police began investigating Lima after receiving a tip from McHenry County Senior Services Associates Inc., Hyrkas said.

Police did not confirm Lima’s relationship to the woman.

Community High School District 155 spokeswoman Shannon Podzimek did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment about Lima’s employment status with the school while charges are pending. Athletic director Mark Gilbert also did not respond to several requests for comment.

A representative of the district’s teachers union couldn’t be reached for comment after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Sophomore coach Brett Collins will serve as the interim varsity girls basketball head coach in Lima’s absence, sources with knowledge of the situation said.

Prairie Ridge finishes its regular season at 7 p.m. Friday with a home game against Huntley.

The Wolves open the Class 4A postseason at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Crystal Lake Central.

Lima is due in court March 23.

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