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Former Sandburg Coach Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Criminal Sexual Abuse

Steven Reynolds, of unincorporated Hinsdale, received a sentence that included 15 days of work-release and 30 months of probation.

A former Carl Sandburg High School coach from unincorporated Hinsdale pleaded guilty Monday to criminal sexual abuse of a 17-year-old female and was sentenced to 15 days in a work-release program and 30 months of probation.

Steven Reynolds, 27, of the 600 block of 55th Street, was working as a substitute teacher and basketball coach at Sandburg in Orland Park when he was arrested on Feb. 6. after he made sexual contact with a 17-year-old female Sandburg student at his home on Jan. 28.

The prosecution dropped one of those counts in exchange for the guilty plea. In addition to the work-release and probation, Reynolds will have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years, perform 200 hours of public service, and refrain from all communication with the victim going forward. 

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Judge George Bakalis said Reynolds' pre-sentencing evaluation, which provides the subject's history and background to provide context for their offense, was one of the strongest he'd ever seen and said he was confident Reynolds will abide the terms of the sentence.

"You made a bad decision in this case," Bakalis said to Reynolds, who did not comment confirming his understanding of and agreement to the sentence.  

Reynolds declined to comment after Monday's hearing. 

According to the prosecution's findings, which were presented at Monday's hearing, the student had worked as a trainer of Reynolds' basketball team, and the two had exchanged electronic communications for a period of time before the relationship "turned" in 2012. 

It was then that Reynolds and the student planned a Jan. 28 get-together at Reynolds' home during a weekend his wife was out of town, the prosecution's finding said. Reynolds picked up the student and brought her to his home, where the two watched TV before going into a back bedroom. There, Reynolds fondled the student. Reynolds drove the student home later that night.  

According to the state's attorney's office, Reynolds' arrest came after the victim told her friends about the sexual contact. The friends then informed Carl Sandburg school officials, who immediately passed along the information to the Orland Park Police Department. 

An investigation by the DuPage County Children's Center resulted in February's charges.

Reynolds' attorneys and the prosecution , but Bakalis decided to wait for the pre-sentencing evaluation to make it official.

Reynolds originally  in March. After he was arrested, Reynolds was in the state's custody for five days, which were credited toward his work-release sentence, meaning it will effectively be a 10-day sentence.

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Morlandpk August 28, 2012 at 06:29 AM
When I was 17 I knew EXACTLY what I was doing, so yes it was the both of them. Also, having relations with someone 10 years older has become somewhat normal now a days, no matter what their profession is. So dont be thrown off that he is a teacher, there's worse things out there.
Melissa September 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM
I went to Sandburg. I knew Coach Reynolds. If you knew how kind-hearted and dedicated he was to his job, you wouldn't second guess the Judge's decision. He made a mistake. So what? It would be completely different if he had raped her, but he didn't. She agreed to it. It was a mutual decision between both parties. It may seem like he got off easy, but trust me, he went through hell and back and lost so much because of this. He is not dangerous. Everyone makes mistakes and he certainly lacked judgement in this case. I hope everyone realizes that if this happened one year later, after she had graduated, there would be no consequences and none of this would've happened.
Erin Sanders October 01, 2012 at 01:30 AM
I agree Carol. Sara, she is not a child, she is a teenager...one year away from being called an "adult" and having the privilege to vote; I think she is capable of having a mind of her own. I believe they are BOTH at fault for this, knowing the difference between right and wrong, yet breaking those barriers to be in the company of one another. No where did they mention that there was any force or resistance. It's another case full of poor decisions by both parties.
frank October 02, 2012 at 12:52 AM
This is in response to Victor whose comment hasn't been posted to this article. Victor, you have a lot of nerve calling people "SHITT_ HUMAN BEINGS." Again, the article addresses the judge's sentence. Apparently the virtues of common sense never entered your brain at CSHS. Next time reread your submission or at least have your parents give you some needed advice that you may have missed the first time around. Oh, by the way, Victor is the assistant basketball position at CSHS a paid position? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
GoWhiteSox November 01, 2012 at 04:45 PM
This comments proves that saying a 17 year old girl should be as responsible as her teacher, her mentor, someone she is supposed to trust and look up to. He went through hell and back?? No, who went through hell and back is his wife. The students parents, the student. He made a descision while knowing better to act on his urges. He threw away his life with one descision. That's on him. I do not feel bad for him for one second for going through hell and back. He was a teacher. The school and parents trusted him to be a leader to their kids and he failed. I know 17 year girls aren't as innocent as they once were she is not an adult. She does not live in the real world. She does not know better. An older man someone she looks up to made it seem like this was ok. Made it agame, exciting....he was a sexual predator and that is not her fault.

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