Resident of Manhattan, Will County Convicted, Sentenced 5+ Years After Sexual Conduct With Underage Boy

Dayna Chidester (Will County State's Attorney's Office).
Dayna Chidester (Will County State’s Attorney’s Office).

A Will County woman has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for engaging in sexual conduct with an underage boy and directing him to send her sexually explicit images of himself.

Dayna Chidester engaged in sexual conduct with the boy on numerous occasions in November and December 2018. Chidester knew at the time that the boy was 14 years old. Chidester also directed the boy to take photos of himself while he was engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and to send the photos to Chidester’s cell phone.

Chidester, 53, of Manhattan, Illinois, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of receiving child pornography. U.S. District Judge Jorge L Alonso on Wednesday sentenced Chidester to five years and four months in federal prison.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, Illinois State Police, and the Manhattan, Ill., Police Department.

“Defendant’s offense was not a one-time lapse in judgment, but an ongoing pattern of criminal activity,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Knowing full well that what she was doing was both reprehensible and criminal, defendant repeatedly victimized a child who trusted defendant.”

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced January 4, 2019 that Manhattan resident Dayna Chidester, age 50, who resided on O’Connel Lane in Manhattan, and who was a high school teacher at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, was charged with six counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, as well as one count of Indecent Solicitation of a Child and one count of Unlawful Grooming in connection with an alleged sexual relationship involving a 14-year-old male. The male teen was not a student at Reed-Custer High School.

Chidester was taken into custody Thursday following an investigation by the Manhattan Police Department, with assistance from State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit and the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Forensic interviews, therapy, and counseling involving those affected occurred at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by logging on to or by calling 1-800-843-5678. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

— U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Illinois

During the investigation, the victim stated that the relationship with Chidester included messages and photos sent electronically, as well as sexual physical contact on numerous occasions. The Defendant confirmed that text messages and photos were sent electronically and that sexual physical contact had occurred with the victim.

Bond was set at $1 million on Friday, January 4, 2019.



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