BY LESLIE BRIDGERS
Portland Press Herald
A special education administrator from Massachusetts may face additional charges after his arrest Wednesday for allegedly posing as a teenage boy in order to exchange illicit photos online with a 15-year-old girl from Cumberland County.
Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office have talked with the parents of other potential victims, in Maine and elsewhere, of 47-year-old Steven Orloff, said Capt. Craig Smith. “There could be additional charges,” he said.
Orloff, of Framingham, Mass., was arraigned Wednesday in Framingham District Court on charges of distribution of obscene matter and posing or exhibiting a child in the nude.
He is being held on $20,000 cash bail and was ordered to leave his and his wife’s home, surrender his passport, not use the Internet, not contact children under 18 and stay away from Stoneham Public Schools, where he is the director of student services.
Orloff was placed on administrative leave from the Stoneham, Mass., school district, where he has worked since July 2011, Superintendent Les Olson said. Olson said Orloff’s job was to coordinate the district’s special education staff and not “to provide any direct services to students.”
Olson wouldn’t say whether the Stoneham school district did a background check on Orloff before he was hired.
Smith said the parents of the 15-year-old Cumberland County girl told the sheriff’s office in July of explicit pictures on a “device” used by their daughter, who thought she was corresponding online with a 4-year-old boy.
Investigators discovered Orloff had been sending her illicit pictures, which were not of him, and soliciting sexual photos from her, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Smith said investigations into Orloff’s correspondence with the 15-year-old girl and other potential victims in Maine and elsewhere are ongoing. He would not release the girl’s hometown, to avoid identifying her.
Investigators also are talking to other potential victims.
Before working in Stoneham, Orloff worked for Arlington, Mass., schools from 2009 to 2011, first as the special education coordinator for the middle school and later as the assistant director of special education for the secondary level, said Robert Spiegel, human resources officer for the district.
He said both positions were administrative, requiring Orloff to supervise programs and employees but not to have direct contact with students.
Orloff left the Arlington, Mass., district in June 2011, when his position was eliminated in an administrative restructuring, Spiegel said.
A 2007-08 student handbook from the Mitchell School in Needham, Mass., refers to a special education chairman named Steven Orloff, but officials from that district did not return calls to confirm whether the man arrested Wednesday is a former employee.
If Orloff has a prior criminal record, it is protected by Massachusetts law, said Stephanie Guyotte, spokeswoman for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office,
which is prosecuting the case.
Orloff is scheduled to appear again in Framingham District Court on Jan. 14 for a probable cause hearing.