Carl Sandburg Substitute Teacher Accused Of Abusing Student
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UPDATED 02/07/12 4:30 p.m.
WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) – A teacher and coach at a high school in Orland Park was being being held on $250,000 bond Tuesday morning, on charges he sexually abused a student.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Steven E. Reynolds, 26, of Hinsdale, is charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s office.
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Police were alerted on Monday about the alleged sexual abuse involving a 17-year-old female student and Reynolds, a substitute teacher and freshman basketball coach at Carl Sandburg High School.
Reynolds is accused of having sexual contact with the student several times in recent weeks, police said. Reynolds was arrested on Monday night.
Friends of the victim told school officials about the abuse, and school officials called Orland Park Police. They immediately called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and DuPage County Sheriff’s police, and Reynolds was then arrested.
Consolidated High School District 230 Supt. James Gay says he commended the individuals who notified the school.
Students and parents at Sandburg said they were taken aback by the allegations against the well-liked teacher.
“I was surprised. You know, this is the first in our community that we’ve had stuff like this going on, that I know of,” parent Laurie Heemstra told CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot.
“He was always a nice guy. He subs for a lot of my classes when my teachers are out. He was cool, like, he’s a nice guy. That’s all I really know about him,” her daughter, Michelle Heemstra, said.
Fellow student Hannan Chaudary said, “I’ve seen him in the gym class, because I’m in strength and conditioning and, just, we didn’t know anything. So, like, we found out this morning and everyone is just like, ‘Wow,’ you know?”
Meanwhile, an Orland Park parent whose child is set to go to Sandburg for high school next year said she is outraged.
“It’s very concerning for me because my son is going there next year, so I mean, how many kids has he affected? It’s just scary to see this, what’s going on,” said Pam English.
She pointed out that sexually abused children are often compelled to keep quiet.
“You feel sorry for them because a lot of times, they’re probably afraid to talk or say anything to people, that something is going to happen to them,” English said.
Reynolds appeared for a bond hearing in DuPage County court in Wheaton Tuesday, where his bond was set at $250,000.
As of 11 a.m., Reynolds had not posted bond and remained in jail.