Prosecutors: Former band director sent girls love notes, sexual texts

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Update mug of Steve Orland, west aurora high band director charged with having sex with students.

Love notes and “personal and intimate” text messages are among the evidence prosecutors hope to use against the former West Aurora High School band director accused of having sexual contact with two students.

Steve Orland is charged with 27 counts that include battery, sexual assault and sexual abuse. Authorities said the encounters were consensual but that the students’ age – in some cases younger than 18 – and Orland’s position of authority made them illegal.

On Thursday, prosecutors said they have cards, love notes and text messages that Orland, 42, sent to the girls.

Orland’s attorneys have asked Judge Allen Anderson to keep the text messages out of court because it can’t be proven who sent them and, even if prosecutors can do so, Orland has a right to privacy to cover any messages.

One girl showed police the text messages from Orland on her phone, which police took into evidence, according to court records. Some of the text messages sent by Orland contained sexual language, authorities said.

Orland is accused of fondling the girls and having them perform oral sex on him at different times between December 2010 and May 2011. Most of the incidents occurred at the high school, prosecutors said, although one sex act was performed in his minivan as Orland drove one girl back to school after a concert.

In one case, authorities said, a teacher caught Orland leaving a school storage room suspiciously twice in the same day, and found a different girl still in the storage room each time Orland left.

In January 2011, 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. No sex acts occurred during the trip, although the girl apparently went to Orland’s hotel room at some point, authorities said.

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.

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