Former Band Teacher Gets 12 Years For Sex With Students

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A former band teacher at West Aurora High School has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual misconduct with two students.

Stephen Orland, 42, of North Aurora, was defiant and unapologetic as he was hauled away in handcuffs after Kane County Judge Allen Anderson pronounced his sentence, the Aurora Beacon-News reports.

Orland was charged last year with 27 counts, including battery, sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Prosecutors said Orland, who knew the girls since they were freshmen at West Aurora High School, sent them thousands of texts and dropped notes and letters in their lockers during school. In pleading guilty, he admitted that he arranged to meet the girls in a band storage room on separate occasions, where he abused them.

He was caught when another teacher opened the storage room door and found Orland with one of the girls.

As part of the agreement, the other charges against Orland were dropped, including allegations that one sex act was performed in a minivan on a side street near West High after a band concert, according to court records.

The indictment alleged the encounters were consensual but that the students’ age and Orland’s position of authority made the contact illegal. The victims were 17 during the initial sexual contact, police said.

Prosecutors said Orland, who knew the girls since they were freshmen at West Aurora High School, sent them thousands of texts and dropped notes and letters in their lockers during school. In pleading guilty, he admitted that he arranged to meet the girls in a band storage room on separate occasions, where he abused them.

He was caught when another teacher opened the storage room door and found Orland with one of the girls.

After agreeing to the plea deal, Orland read from a lengthy statement entitled, “For that I am grateful.” The statement listed Orland’s many accomplishments as a teacher and band director.

He also thanked the family and friends who have supported him — including dozens who gathered in the courtroom Friday.

After each section, Orland repeated the phrase “for that, I am grateful,” as if it were a refrain from a musical composition. At no point in the statement did he apologize for his actions or the victims. He did admit Friday was a difficult day and he was experiencing a “wide range” of emotions.

Orland listed off accomplishments from almost two decades teaching in the West Aurora School District, including serving on a Positive Behavior Intervention committee. He highlighted the influence he has had on hundreds of students. He said his binders of thank-you notes are proof that he has made a difference to many young musicians.

“The band room was the second home and that’s what it was: a safe place to be,” he said.

Orland said it was “such a joy to lend a hand” in various community activities, including coaching baseball and serving on the PTA.

He said his latest experience has brought him closer to God. “God is walking with me and my family through this,” Orland said.

Orland lamented the time he will be away from his three children. He called it “ironic” that he will be away from his children during a time when he was most qualified to mentor them and coach their musical development.

But Judge Anderson did not seem to share Orland’s assessment of his career. Anderson said that while Orland may have helped many students, his other actions have serious consequences.

“You have disgraced your profession and you have weakened the trust parents have in the educational system,” Anderson said. “You cannot undo the damage you have done to your victims in this case.”

After the hearing, Orland’s attorney said the former teacher does regret his actions.

“He’s sorry for the entire matter, for the entire incident,” attorney Phillip Nathe said. “It may not have come across in his statement, but he’s very sorry.”

In December, prosecutors released the content of several salacious text messages Orland sent to the students.

In all, Orland exchanged nearly 47,000 texts with his two accusers, the Daily Herald reported. He also sent one alleged victim cards and notes to her home and her school locker, saying he wanted to spend more time with her, the Daily Herald reported.

Some of the text messages sent by Orland also contained sexual language, authorities said.

In January of last year, while on a band trip to Peoria, Orland sent one of the girls text messages to the effect of “I want to kiss you right now” and “I want you now,” authorities said. Also on that trip, according to the Daily Herald, a girl had a problem with her instrument and came to Orland’s hotel room, where he made sexual advances.

No sex acts occurred during the trip, but court documents say Orland took a picture of himself with the girl in bed, the Daily Herald reported. He was sharing the hotel room with another male teacher who was not present at the time, the newspaper reported.

On another occasion, Orland was caught by a janitor hugging a blonde-haired student in the band storage room, which led to Orland being prohibited from being alone with any female at the school, the Daily Herald reported.

In May 2011, after the investigation began, Orland met with one of the girl’s friends. During that meeting, he said, “We cannot let the girls testify against me,” authorities said.

At unspecified times, Orland told one of the girls “if (she) really loved him, she would not testify” and also commented his “life would be over” if the girls testified.

Orland offered to pay for musical instruments and tutors, while reassuring “each victim that their relationships would not be discovered,” authorities said.

Orland was sentenced to six years for abusing one girl and another six years for abusing the other. The sentences will have to be served consecutively. He can receive day-for-day credit, meaning he could serve as little as six years in prison.

Orland will also have to register as a sex offender for life.

The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Sam Jenkins

    Battery? Sexual assault? Sexual abuse? For concentual sex with young women that were mere months away from being legal tender? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our age of consent. These girls were plenty old enough to decide who they would have sex with. It’s not the fifties anymore, young women are sexually active before age 18. Maybe we should lower the age of consent to 16. I would fully support that!

    • LB

      Sam Jenkins: What an idiot? how about the teacher, the adult, the one in a position of authority should have waited until the young women were 18. Consent does not need to be re-evaluated but judgement does.

    • LYNDIA


    • Dave

      you’re sick. Move to Mexico. Consent is 12 years old there in some areas.

  • Memph Skony

    I bet you would pedophile.This child granted was mere months away from being a young adult was still a minor and he was a teacher,for one who knows how long this was going on before he was caught,for two how would you feel if someone was doing this to your child if you havent already(sick prick). At 16 or 17 a CHILD doesnt know what he/she wants and to have a GROWN man prey on them is wrong.Granted most TEENS are sexually active by 16 but there active among there peers not adults and for you get help Mr. Jenkins.

  • Davidd

    I am not condoning what this creep did but why didn’t these girls go to someone in charge or heck their own parents for pete’s sake? Or go to the hospital right away after it happened and tell them they were raped he would have been investigated and I’m sure many more victims would have come foward knowing they were not his only victims.

    • Alonso Gribbs

      @Davidd, They didn’t go to someone because they were enthusiastically, willing participants.

  • Watching 2012

    Ha Ha Orland. Have fun in prison. Cant wait til your abused by Bubba your cell mate.

    • Don't stereotype BUBBA

      How do you know his cellmate is going to be “Bubba”? I think it’s going to be a little jewish guy named Abraham.

  • Earthismaxxedoutwithidiots

    Terrible editing job. The same paragraph appears twice here.

    Oh…and next time…Orland, make em sign a waiver!

  • jerry

    I’m only glad that he was caught. How is it that none of those girls told on him? I find that shocking..

    • Alonso Gribbs

      @jerry, They didn’t tell on him because they were having as much fun as he was. They weren’t forced or coerced.



    • Memph Skony

      My thoughts exactly

  • NWA

    Ah hell nah, nother Whitey workn’ dat impulse control thang


  • Dave

    lol skin flute. How can people make excuses for this guy? Girls young enough to be in high school are too impressionable to be hit on by 40 year old men. He should be in prison.

  • Dylan

    12 years for having sex with a student, but if he was drunk and killed someone he would only get three years. He should have thought this through better.

  • Anonymous but in the know

    This is in response to the commenters who seem to not understand why the girls didn’t come forward. Pedophiles groom their victims. Make them feel loved, secure and cherished. All young girls, whether from good homes or not, yearn to feel those emotions. With each girl, Mr. Orland made them feel like he was in a relationship with them, telling them he loved them and he would divorce his wife and be with them when they graduated. No they weren’t forced physically, but they were forced emotionally. He gained their trust and love. He GROOMED them for these acts to take place. It didn’t happen overnight, the grooming went on from freshman year on, until he was convinced he could abuse his authority and go a step further. Rumors have been circulating for years that he has done this before, but there wasn’t any proof and the girls who had been victimized previously realized quickly he wasn’t going to leave his wife and continue a relationship with them. At that point they were too embarrassed and ashamed to go to the police. He was investigated the year before this happened. The incident was swept under the rug and the staff member who caught him that time was fired. Also… Mr. Orland was practically worshipped as a god in Aurora. The victims in this case and the teacher who caught him have been harassed and threatened. Teacher’s are mandated reporters, it was the teachers LEGAL duty to report what she saw. He got less than what he deserves.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live