Former special-education administrator in Arlington is called 'predator'

Steven OrloffOrloff

UPDATED: Steven Orloff, an Arlington special-education administrator until 2011, was called in federal court in Boston on Tuesday, Dec. 17, a "predator" as he faced charges of producing child pornography, the Boston Herald reported.

Federal authorities said Orloff, 48, of Potter Road, Framingham, connected with "several hundred" girls online, all of them between the ages of 11 and 15, and tried soliciting "over 100, easily" into performing sexual acts on a live webcam — all while posing as a 14-year-old boy.

Federal authorities have said they identified images of six victims he solicited online in searching computers and an external hard drive seized from Orloff’s home.

Herald, Dec. 17: Mom says traumatized teen faced new sex abuse in foster home

Orloff’s lawyer, Hank Brennan, argued that there is no evidence that Orloff would commit any crimes or would flee if released. He said Orloff posted $70,000 bail and has worn an electronic monitoring bracelet since his arrest on state charges last year, and he has been working building homes and paying child support, The Boston Globe reported Dec. 18.

Steps Arlington takes before hiring

Asked what steps the Arlington public schools take to protect children when hiring, Robert Spiegel, head of human resources for the schools, wrote Wednesday, Dec. 18, that the administration "generally checks the background of all employees prior to their beginning employment.

"(As you recognize, we cannot discuss in any way the facts regarding a specific employee).

"APS always uses its authority under the Massachusetts General Laws to obtain criminal information (CORI check) for any incoming employee. We also check multiple references before making a hiring decision."

Orloff was employed by the Arlington public schools from Sept. 1, 2009, through June 24, 2011, when he left for Stoneham. He held the titles of special education coordinator and assistant special education director.  

As reported earlier

According to the investigation, reported earlier by WCVB, the defendant and the victim exchanged photos, although the defendant did not send an actual photo of himself. The victim and the defendant continued to chat online and the victim sent the defendant illicit photos of herself, police told Channel 5.

Officials said that at least six victims have been identified, the station reported.

Orloff, according to the affidavit, also allegedly secretly taped "several homemade movies depicting two girls to whom Orloff was related."

Orloff was charged one year ago in a case involving a Maine teen when he was the director of student services in at Stoneham High School. He has also worked in Needham schools.

He was arraigned Friday, Dec. 13., in Framingham District Court on charges of distribution of obscene matter and posing or exhibiting a child in the nude.

If convicted, Orloff faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a five-year mandatory minimum up to a lifetime term of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the charge of production of child pornography. On the charge of possession of child pornography, Orloff faces up to 10 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston Bruce M. Foucart and Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson made the announcement.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf of Ortiz's Major Crimes Unit.

This story was published Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, and updated Dec. 17 and 18.