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updated: 11/25/2011 7:35 AM

Teacher wants text messages banned from abuse trial

Ex-Aurora teacher accused of sexual abuse

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  • Stephen Orland

      Stephen Orland

 
 

A former West Aurora High School band teacher accused of having sexual relations with two students is fighting to have text messages between him and one the students disallowed in court.

The defense attorney for Stephen P. Orland, 42, of North Aurora recently filed court documents seeking to suppress text messages between the student's cellphone and Orland's cellphone.

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"The author of a text message or alleged electronic communication is virtually impossible to determine with certainty," wrote defense attorney Robert Nathe in a court motion. "In other words, a text message may have come from a specific phone number; however, that does not mean that the individual who is assigned the phone number in question is the author of the text message."

Orland was arrested and charged in May with three counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Prosecutors also added 27 more charges in July.

Orland is accused of abusing his position of trust and authority by having sexual encounters with two female students from October 2010 through April 2011 in the band room and storage room at the school, and in his car after a concert in December 2010.

Nathe, who could not be reached for comment, also argued that Orland had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" and use of the text messages would be unreasonable search and seizure, thereby violating his constitutional rights.

It was unclear when the text messages were sent, what information they contained, and how many there are.

Orland was fired from his job in August and is free on bond pending trial.

Judge Allen Anderson will hear arguments Dec. 15 on the text message motion.

If convicted, Orland faces up to 45 years in prison.

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