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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 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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Kathie February 08, 2012 at 04:18 PM
(continued...part 2) Aside from this case: in any situation, my feelings are that it is NEVER acceptable for any adult to take advantage of a minor. An adult has to be the adult 24/7, even with consent. The responsibility is on the adult's shoulders to think about repercussions emotionally, physically and legally. Everyone makes mistakes and has lapses of error in judgement, but common sense has to come into play and prevail. If it doesn't, even good people can find themselves in trouble.
mom February 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Remember what happened in Palos Height with a 17 year old girl making false statements and creating a horrible situation for this area, when she said she was abducted and raped. This young teacher could very well be inocent and I hope he is. I pray the autrhorities do their job.Mom
Team Reynolds February 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM
BOOYA. #FreeReynolds
VB February 11, 2012 at 09:41 PM
G, I sure hope you are never on a jury..............Let the police and DCFS do their job!
carl krauss August 22, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Since this teacher got such a light sentence from a judge that needs to be reprimanded I would like to know if the child molester teacher lost his job. He should have and not be allowed to teach again.

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