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Former teacher now faces criminal charges

Latest: 5:04 pm, 12/17/13, Tuesday URBANA -- A former teacher at Rantoul Township High School now faces criminal charges.
Latest: 5:04 pm, 12/17/13, Tuesday
URBANA -- A former teacher at Rantoul Township High School now faces criminal charges. Monday night, Bryan Reynolds was fired. District leaders say he sent sexually-explicit text messages and naked pictures of himself to a student last year when the boy was 17-years old.

Tuesday, the Champaign County State's Attorney's Office filed charges against Reynolds. Rantoul police did an initial investigation. The State's Attorney was originally told the student was 18.

When they got the files, they realized the boy was 17 at the beginning of the interaction. Bryan Reynolds is now charged with two felony counts of distributing harmful material to a minor. He faces 1 - 3 years in prison.

Authorities say the victim's grandfather discovered the messages and alerted police. The teenager cooperated. The State's Attorney says nothing physical happened.

Providing pornographic material to a minor is a class A misdemeanor. In this case, the charges are felonies because the photos were created on a cell phone or something similar. Reynolds first day in court is January 14, 2014.
Latest: 11:46 am, 12/17/13, Tuesday
URBANA -- The Champaign County State's Attorney filed charges against a former Rantoul High School band teacher. Bryan Reynolds is accused of sexting a former student. The decision was made after Monday night's school board meeting where Reynolds was fired from his teaching position.

School officials say Reynolds sent sexually-explicit texts and naked pictures of himself and others to the former student for three months. Parents and students attending the meeting were not aware of the sexting accusations prior to the meeting.

Many came to support him and plead with the board to retain him as band teacher. One parent says Reynolds was the most influential teacher her daughter ever had.

Now he faces one-to-three years if convicted. Reynolds denies sending the texts.
Update: 10:01 pm, 12/16/13, Monday
RANTOUL -- The school board decided it had enough proof to fire a teacher. Bryan Reynolds was under investigation for misconduct. Monday night, the school board made its final decision to terminate his employment. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine finds out it all came down to texts between Reynolds and the former student.

School officials say Reynolds sent the student sexually-explicit texts and naked pictures of himself and others. Parents and students attending Monday night's meeting didn't know about them, but at least one says it still wouldn't stop her from supporting this teacher.

One by one, parents and students filed into Rantoul Township High School. They were here to support Bryan Reynolds. He's been the band teacher for the past four years.

"He's one of the most influential teachers that she's ever had."

Linda Kelly and her daughter, Sarah, wanted to make a last-minute effort to bring him back.

"I wanted to get across how much he meant to us and how much it will affect us if they rule that he will not be here."

They made signs and shed a lot of tears.

"Without any hardcore facts, without being charged with anything, I just feel like, what are we here for? Why had he been put through this? I would like the board to reinstate him and his teaching position."

But, the board knew something parents didn't. Reynolds sent explicit text messages and images to the student for three months. When Linda Kelly found out, she didn't budget.

"I still feel the same. It's not changing my opinion."

Reynolds denies sending the texts, but the school board stands by its information. Members say another reason he was fired was for lying to the district when asked about the messages.
Original: 6:03 pm, 12/16/13, Monday
RANTOUL -- The Rantoul School Board is about to decide the fate of a band teacher. Bryan Reynolds was under investigation for misconduct.

A former student complained about him earlier this year. Now, he's on administrative leave.

Band members and their families and friends are expected at Monday night's meeting to support Reynolds. The State's Attorney found the alleged victim to be 18 at the time of the incident. By law, that person is a consenting adult.

No charges were filed, but this is still against the school's code of conduct. The board will be faced with three options: take no action against Reynolds; suspend him temporarily; take immediate action and dismiss him from the school.

The board will listen to speeches from parents and students. They will then go back for an executive session to make a decision.
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