Edward L. Kline, the former Solon High School band director who was accused of multiple sex offenses involving former students, won’t be teaching again – nor will he face trial.
On Jan. 12, Kline pleaded guilty to 11 counts of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony. He also pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Seven counts were nolled, meaning they will not be prosecuted, according to a plea arrangement with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Kline’s teaching license will be revoked. He will be classified as a tier 1 sex offender and must register annually for 15 years.
He is represented by Ian Friedman and Madelyn Grant of Friedman & Nemecek of Cleveland.
“It is hoped that Mr. Kline’s acceptance of guilt, without a protracted trial, helps to bring healing and closure to everyone involved” Friedman wrote in a text to the Cleveland Jewish News Jan. 13 on behalf of both Friedman and Grant. “Further statement will be made at the time of sentencing.”
Kline was referred to the county probation office for a pre-sentence investigation and report.
He is to have no contact with any of the 10 victims as a result of the convictions.
All of the convictions could carry either probation or prison time.
The 11 fourth-degree felonies allow for a range of six to 18 months in prison each, and a $5,000 fine for each offense. The sexual imposition misdemeanor count carries up to 60 days in prison and a fine of up $500. If the judge chooses to impose probation rather than prison, the maximum probationary time would be five years for each felony and two years for the misdemeanor.
Kline will be sentenced Feb. 24 in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas by Judge Timothy R. McCormick.
Kline was first arraigned in Bedford Municipal Court on a single count and later in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on indictments alleging more offenses. The alleged victims were 12 to 18 years old, and the alleged crimes took place from Aug. 1, 2003, to June 30, 2014.
Kline was ultimately charged with 19 counts of sexual offenses. He worked with students from eighth to 12th grades in Solon from 2004 until his resignation in 2018.
Kline, 51, is married and lives in Stow.
He is out of jail on $50,000 cash or surety bond.