A Carl Sandburg High School substitute teacher and freshman basketball coach who lives in unincorporated Hinsdale has been arrested for criminal sexual abuse of a female juvenile student.
Steven E. Reynolds, of the 600 block of 55th Street, was taken into custody Monday night by the DuPage County Sheriff's Office and charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 17-year-old female Carl Sandburg student, according to a release from DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
Reynolds, 26, allegedly committed the abuse at his home on Jan. 28.
Berlin's office said in the release that the victim told her friends about the alleged contact, who then informed Carl Sandburg school officials. The school officials immediately contacted the Orland Park Police Department, who then contacted Berlin's office.
The release from Berlin says an investigation by the DuPage County Children's Center resulted in Tuesday's charges.
“If these allegations are proven true, Mr. Reynolds used his position of trust and authority as a member of the school faculty to sexually abuse his young victim,” Berlin said. “He allegedly betrayed the trust placed in him by the victim, the victim’s parents and the school to satisfy his own desires."
Berlin spokesperson Paul Darrah did not comment on the nature of the abuse.
“The charges are that she’s underage and that’s all I can address at this point,” Darrah said.
The Illinois State Board of Education also has opened an investigation into the matter.
"We are tracking this case and will be following it. We have opened the file to determine whether we will be pursuing suspending or removing [Reynolds'] teaching certificate," said Mary Fergus, a spokesperson for the ISBE.
Reynolds is certified to teach at the middle school and high school levels, and his teaching certification is up for renewal in July.
According to District 230, Reynolds only has taught at Carl Sandburg High School. There is no record of Reynolds teaching at other schools in Orland Park, nor schools in the the Burr Ridge, Hinsdale or Lyons Township districts near his home.
Fergus said she would need to do further research to say whether there had been any previous complaints against Reynolds.
"Right now this case is moving through the local level. We don't want to interfere with a criminal investigation," said Fergus.
Reynolds’ bond was set at $250,000 Monday morning. Darrah said Reynolds is still at DuPage County Jail. Reynolds’ arraignment hearing is set for March 5 in front of Judge George Bakalis.
District 230 Superintendant of Schools Dr. James M. Gay said in an emailed statement, “I would like to commend the individuals who brought this information to the school’s attention and the swift manner in which the school administration and local authorities addressed this very sensitive situation."
A Class 2 felony carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison, Darrah said.
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