Editor’s Note: Some readers may find details in this article disturbing.
SOLON, Ohio (WJW) – A former Solon school band director is out on bond, facing a 17 count indictment of sex crimes against nine women.
The women were students, some as young as 12 when they say Edward Kline touched them inappropriately.
Kline had resigned from his position in the district in 2018 and had been there since 2004.
He was arrested in September of this year.
At the time, Solon police had identified one person as an alleged victim.
The indictments returned by a grand jury now name nine “Jane Does” who were between the ages of 12 and 18 when they say they were inappropriately touched.
A grand jury found there was evidence of 16 counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual imposition and note that Kline should be given the violent sexual predator designation.
The indictments say the first alleged crimes with a 12-year-old began in 2003 and may have gone on for years.
At least three of the alleged victims say Kline forced them to touch his penis.
Three of the alleged victims spoke at Kline’s arraignment Wednesday.
All asked the judge to increase the $50,000 bond amount, which he had already posted.
The women told the court they believed Kline was a threat to the community.
The judge said $50,000 was the proper amount and declined to increase it.
Kline is under a no-contact order for all of the alleged victims.
Sexual imposition in Ohio is defined as unwanted sexual contact.
Gross sexual imposition is designated as a worse crime due to a variety of factors, including a victim’s age and whether force was used.
The school district says they can’t comment due to an ongoing investigation but previously released a letter to Solon students and families in June when police began their investigation.
Dear Solon Schools Families,
In recent days we have learned about new allegations of inappropriate contact between a former teacher and student. These allegations are deeply troubling. School should be a safe space and we take seriously our responsibility to students’ physical and emotional well-being. Teachers and educators hold positions of trust with their students.
Late last week, the district became aware of additional allegations involving the same former teacher. The district intends to speak with the affected individuals concerning the allegations about inappropriate contact with a teacher when they were enrolled in the district and obtain additional information, including written statements that could be placed in the former teacher’s personnel files if those individuals so request. The district will advise them to contact the Ohio Department of Education, which licenses educators, if they believe they have information that would be relevant to any ongoing investigations and recommend that they contact the Solon Police Department. The district will assist them in making these connections in any way they desire.
It is the district’s practice to thoroughly investigate all allegations brought to its attention and to report any knowledge or reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect under Ohio law, as appropriate. When allegations were raised more than two years ago involving the teacher in question, the district promptly investigated the allegations and fulfilled its responsibilities by reporting to the proper state and local authorities. These reports are confidential. During the investigation, the teacher was removed from the classroom and direct contact with students. The actions taken at that time were solely focused on ensuring student safety.
As we continue to learn more in real time – just as many of you are from public postings on social media platforms – we pledge to work with and connect any former students who bring these matters to our attention to the proper authorities. If other students have material information to share, we encourage them to contact the school district and law enforcement immediately. The Solon Police Department Detective Bureau can be reached at 440-337-1465.
Kline entered a not guilty plea Wednesday. His pretrial is scheduled later this month.