Warning: This story contains content that some readers may find offensive.
A trial date of Feb. 22, 2021, was set for Edward L. Kline, the former Solon band director accused of 18 sexual offenses involving seven alleged victims, all but two of them minors at the time of the alleged crimes.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a pretrial conference scheduled for Oct. 28 before Judge Timothy McCormick in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Please was instead held as a telephone conference between the defense and prosecution.
Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Mason has delivered 25 files via web portal to Kline’s lawyer, Ian Friedman, founding attorney of Friedman & Nemecek LLC of Cleveland. They include a first and supplemental police report, 13 files containing transcripts, five files containing witness statements, and two files containing the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office criminal records check on Kline.
In addition, there are three files relating to search warrants for social media. One is labeled “Facebook/Instagram,” a second is labeled “Instagram – do not disclose order” and the final is labeled “snapchat sw.”
Kline, 50, of Stow, pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of sexual offenses in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Oct. 14. His bond was set at $50,000 cash, surety. The amount had previously been set by Bedford Municipal Court Judge Michelle Paris.
Kline was first charged with a single count of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition Sept. 23. That victim, who was 12 years old at the time of the offense in 2010, said Kline groped the back of her thigh.
The Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indictment added 16 counts of fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition and a single count of third-degree misdemeanor sexual imposition.
The indictment said Kline touched the breasts or buttocks of some victims, labeled Jane Doe #1 through Jane Doe #7, and compelled others to touch his genitals.
Kline, who is married, worked with students from eighth to 12th grades in Solon from 2004 until his resignation in 2018. He resigned from Solon schools before his employment could be terminated, according to a report then-Superintendent Joseph Regano filed with the Ohio Department of Education in 2018.
A message posted on The Solon Soundboard on Facebook accusing a former Solon City Schools band director of misconduct caught the attention of local law enforcement in June and brought to light details surrounding his resignation from the school system two years ago. Other alleged victims came forward in light of that post.
Kline was ordered to submit a DNA sample following his Cuyahoga County arraignment.