UPDATE: Thomas Odon Accepts Plea Deal

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

From the Winn. Co State’s Attorney: Thomas Odon, 24, a teacher at Winnebago High School, has been charged with 2 Counts Criminal Sexual Assault and 4 Counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse involving a student at Winnebago High School. 

-Criminal Sexual Assault is a Class 1 Felony with a sentencing range of 4-15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, non-probationable,  followed by 3 years Mandatory Supervised Release.

-Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse is a Class 2 Felony with a sentencing range of 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by 2 years Mandatory Supervised Release.

These charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of law.

UPDATE: WINNEBAGO (WIFR) – The Winnebago band teacher accused of having sex with one of his students has accepted a plea deal.

In exchange for pleading guilty, Thomas Odon spent two days in jail and will spend the next 30 months on probation. He also isn’t allowed to have any contact with his victim who was 15 at the time and must register as a sex offender.

We’re told his final court appearance was on Friday.

WINNEBAGO (WIFR) -- A Winnebago High School band teacher has been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old female student.

24-year-old Thomas Odon taught band during the 2010-2011 school year. He was arrested Dec. 21 in Arlington Heights. He faces six counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato is urging other victims to come forward.

Teaching band at Winnebago High School was Odon's first full-time job out of college.

He was removed from the classroom the first week of school after administrators heard rumors he was having a sexual relationship with a student during summer break. His job brought him in contact with high school, middle school, and 5th-grade students.

Odon was a substitute band teacher for Round Lake School District 216 in the spring of 2010. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 2009 and played the tuba in the Rockford Wind Ensemble.

Parents weren't notified of the alleged incidents until Dec. 22. He officially resigned on October 17th. He hasn't been allowed on school grounds since the first week of classes back in August.

He posted a $10,000 bond on Dec. 22 to get out of the Winnebago County Jail. He is not allowed to have any contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Calls to his cell phone were not returned before press time.

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  • by Former Student on Apr 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM
    So this guy was student teaching at my high school and I absolutely could not stand this guy. He was not a nice guy, unless you were a cute teenage girl in which case he would flirt with them. He didn't sexually assault any of my friends but he said many things that were out of line. This does NOT surprise me.
  • by Former schoolmate Location: AH on Apr 16, 2012 at 04:26 AM
    Tom was a nice guy in high school, but also a major pervert to the girls. He would always say really inappropriate sexually-charged things to us in the after-school clubs and groups. Unfortunately, this isn't that surprising.
  • by Jasime on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    Hey fed up I don't care he should have done it
  • by TRBR Location: Not Winnebago on Dec 29, 2011 at 08:08 PM
    Yes, Fedup, very fishy indeed.
  • by Callaway Location: Chicago on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:22 PM
    Judy, I'm glad that you stand by the courage of your convictions. As a classmate of his, I too was surprised to hear this. However, I like you believe in a judicial system that stands to prove someone guilty, and until then, they are innocent. I do think facts need to be laid out until then. As someone who is in the legal field, just finished graduate school, I'm a little disturbed by the timeline of these events. I will reserve my skepticism and judgment until all the facts are laid out, but I would wonder why he didn't fight to clear his name? Surely, he could of gone public to clear his name, or attempt too. I also think that a 4 month investigation along with an arrest means they believe they have a tight case, and that's it not as simple as was stated on here. I wish for the best outcome for the person or people most wrongfully hurt.
  • by chisel Location: rockford on Dec 28, 2011 at 08:07 PM
    I understand many of you who say he is innocent until proven guilty. I too believe this and would not want to pass judgement before he gets a fair trial. However, being a cop gives me a different perspective. I do not know the facts of this case (nor could i tell even if i did), but I can assure that in most cases like these, a thorough investigation was completed. Just given the fact that he was put on administrative leave 4 days into the school and we just recently were made aware of it shows the police put a lot of time into the investigation. I know many of you are saying that all the minor has to do is make the accusation and Odon is screwed, however i am sure there is much more than that. Police will investigate but they will not charge based on the accusation alone. There had to have been other evidence that came to light later. Whatever that other evidence is was enough to secure the charges given. Obviously mistakes do happen from time to time and for this reason he will have the opportunity to defend himself in court. I will be watching the progress and result just like all of you. No sense in bashing on the guy until he is found guilty in court. I am sure if you were arrested for this, bogus or not, that you wouldnt want people hating on you before you got a chance to defend yourself.
  • by Really? on Dec 27, 2011 at 02:51 PM
    I cannot remember. Did VanSchelven go to jail from Honnonegah? I think he was assaulting 3 at the same time or over 2 years.
  • by Darb on Dec 27, 2011 at 02:45 PM
    It scares me to death to read some of these comments. ANY woman out there can say a man assaulted her and he will be crucified. I do not know any of the facts, but my 5 year old son was accused of things by a 3 year old girl. It took 2 weeks to find out the girl was really talking about her mom's boyfriend. he was arrested and is jail. But it was hell. So, based on experience, I'm gonna stay on the innocent until proven guilty. Unless she pulled a Monica Lewinsky, how can it be proven?
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on Dec 27, 2011 at 01:54 PM
    @fedup - I have been through the legal system and know how unfair it can be. Fact of the matter is this. We either have a girl that is a liar or we have a teacher who at a minimum is guilty of exercising poor judgement but I suspect something much more. I lean to the later and perhaps beyond as the school district found something wrong otherwise he would be working.
  • by LCS1 USS Freedom Location: Rockford on Dec 26, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    Judy, being innocent in the eyes of the court has absolutely nothing to do with they eyes of public opinion and everyone has a right to judge him as they see fit. Obviously they felt there was enough evidence to arrest and charge him. By you own posts, you've already declared him innocent by saying the accusations are completely false. Maybe you should take your own advice and reserve judgement until all the facts come out? Although, like I said in my first sentence, it's perfectly okay for you to think him innocent, just as it's perfectly okay for Dave and others to think him guilty.
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