Sandburg Basketball Coach Accused of Sexually Abusing Student
A Hinsdale man was charged with two counts sexual abuse Tuesday involving a female Carl Sandburg High School student. Authorities said the incident happened outside of school.
Updated 3:02 p.m. with information from the Illinois State Board of Education and DuPage State's Attorney's Office
A Carl Sandburg High School substitute teacher and basketball coach has been accused of inappropriate contact on one occasion with a 17-year-old female student off school grounds, according to authorities.
Steven E. Reynolds, 26, of the 600 block of 55th Street in Hinsdale, was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.
While the DuPage Sheriff’s Office originally stated in a release that multiple incidents happened over the course of several weeks, the DuPage State’s Attorney’s Office said the charges stem from one incident at Reynolds’ home on Jan. 28, according to a press release Tuesday from the office of DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
Berlin's office said the 17-year-old told her friends about the alleged contact, who then told Carl Sandburg school officials. The school immediately contacted the Orland Park Police Department, who then contacted Berlin's office.
Paul Darrah, spokesman for the DuPage State’s Attorney’s Office, could not specify the nature of the accusations.
“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 spokeswoman 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.
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.
Consolidated High School District 230 also said the alleged abuse happened outside of the school. The Department of Child and Family Services was notified along with law enforcement, according to a statement from the district.
“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,” Superintendent James Gay said in the statement.
Reynolds only taught at Carl Sandburg High School, D230 spokeswoman Carla Erdey wrote in an email.
The Orland Park Police Department and the DuPage County Children’s Center assisted with the arrest.
Reynolds’ bail was set at $250,000 Tuesday morning, and he is scheduled to be in court next for an arraignment in front of Judge George Makalis, and is currently held in the DuPage County Jail.
A Class 2 felony is punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.
Return to Patch for updates as this story develops.
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