Prosecutors: Aurora band teacher charged with sexual assault ‘groomed’ victims

teacherverification February 20, 2012 0

A band teacher charged with sexually assaulting two Aurora high school students was confronted by his superintendent after a janitor reported seeing him hugging one of the girls, according to court documents.

But Stephen P. Orland denied any inappropriate behavior and just received a warning to not be alone with female students.

The revelation is one of many details released Thursday in a series of prosecution motions filed in the case against Orland, the former West Aurora High School band director charged with criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse stemming from relationships with two female band students.

The North Aurora resident was placed on leave in May after Kane County authorities charged him. Orland, 43, had been a teacher at the school for 19 years at the time of his arrest. He is free on bond as he awaits trial.

The new motions allege Orland paid for private music lessons for one of the girls and tried to arrange a tryst while they were at a state music contest in Peoria in January. He signed dozens of hall passes for one of the girls, prosecutors allege, so she would be free to meet him whenever it was convenient.

“The defendant groomed each victim and gained her trust before making advances,” according to the motion.

Authorities allege that Orland and the girls engaged in sexual acts in the school’s band room. In July 2010, according to the motion, a janitor saw Orland hugging a female student there. The janitor said that when Orland saw him, he immediately ran away.

The janitor reported the incident, which led to a meeting between Orland and District 129 Superintendent Dr. James Rydland, who warned Orland that he could be fired if he were to be found alone with a female student, according to the court document. The band teacher denied any untoward behavior.

After he was suspended, Orland arranged a meeting at a park with a third student who is friends with one of the alleged victims in an attempt to get her to withdraw her allegations, the motions say.

“The defendant told (the student) that if (the alleged victim) really loved him she would not testify against him because that would ruin his life,” the motion said.

Source: chicagotribune

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