SOLON, Ohio (WOIO) - A former Solon City Schools band director is accused of sexual harassment and abuse by his former students and student teachers. Solon Police tells 19 News they are getting close to wrapping up the investigation and they think that former band director will likely see some felony charges in the near future.
“He has taken advantage of a lot of children for a very long time and he deserves to serve time,” said a woman who worked as his student teacher. We are keeping her identity anonymous.
Several students have taken to social media to share their stories. One student says he physically assaulted her when she was in the 8th grade. The former student teacher said the band teacher would often make inappropriate comments to her and send her sexually charged messages over social media.
“I was really overwhelmed and scared,” the former student teacher recalled. “It’s one of those things where in the moment when it was happening you didn’t realize how bad it was and then as time went on and you start to look back and remember things that happened that you can’t believe actually happened to you.”
We are not naming the band director because he has not been charged with any crime but Solon police told 19 News they are wrapping up their investigation and expect to turn it over to prosecutors in the next few weeks. They said they have interviewed 10-12 women in their investigation.
“The fact there are so many people coming forward to say the same thing really hits home that he can’t continue to hide behind his glorified reputation that he had for so long,” that woman said.
The former student teacher said she feels like the #MeToo movement helped encourage more women to come forward.
“After the news had broke quite a few people knew that it was me who had spoken and they reached out to me on social media and told me they started off the message with #Metoo and went in to tell me their story either with him personally whether it was former students or former parents of the program or people who were in my position who were viewed as like staff members for the program and so for so many people to come forward and say yes this happened to me too, thank you so much for speaking up and for being a voice because I’m not ready to be yet,” she told us.
The Solon City School District has investigated this band director before about two years ago when similar allegations were made by a student.