Upon the discovery of an additional victim, another indictment was made against former Solon High School band director Edward L. Kline, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Mr. Kline, 51, initially was indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury last September. With the new indictment, the Stow resident faces one additional count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, bringing the total count to 19.
Mr. Kline pleaded not guilty to the latest count, as well as the other 18, according to court records. His first trial is at 9 a.m. Sept. 20.
It is still being determined which of the 10 alleged victims the state will proceed with first in court, said Tyler Sinclair, public information officer with the prosecutor’s office.
The latest victim resulting in the re-indictment was in the age range of 14-15 years old at the time of the alleged crimes, which took place between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, according to the indictment.
Mr. Kline’s alleged victims range in age from 12-18, according to the 10-page indictment, with the alleged crimes spanning from 2003 to 2014.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Timothy McCormick granted a defense motion to sever each case, which means there would be 10 separate trials, Mr. Sinclair explained, one for each victim.
Of the 19 counts he is facing, 18 are for gross sexual imposition, according to the indictment, 17 of which are fourth-degree felonies and carry a tier 1 sex offender registration requirement if convicted. One, which is a third-degree felony, carries a tier II sex offender registration requirement if convicted.
The other count, sexual imposition, is a third-degree misdemeanor that carries a tier 1 sex offender registration requirement if convicted.
The third-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Mr. Sinclair said. The fourth-degree felonies carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison, and the third degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail.
Tier I sex offender registration requires offenders to register annually for 15 years while tier II sex offender registration requires offenders to register bi-annually for 25 years, he said.
Mr. Kline is being represented by attorney Ian Friedman and prosecuted by Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Kelly Mason, of County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley’s office.
Mr. Kline began being investigated in 2017 and 2018. An investigation resumed last year due to a post on social media and is ongoing as more alleged victims come forward, according to investigators.
The Solon school district had released statements to families regarding this matter and stated that, two years ago, when this issue arose, they promptly investigated the allegations and fulfilled its responsibilities by reporting to the proper state and local authorities.
Mr. Kline was permitted to resign at that time.
The district did not have further comment this week, Tamara Strom, the district’s communication director, said.