Western High School’s band director, charged last week with 10 felony and misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual relations with two of his students, pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Jeffrey William Plum, 29, had his bond reduced from an original $50,000 to $10,000 by North Orange County Municipal Judge Phillip McGraw. The arraignment was attended by 26 relatives, teachers and parents supporting him, said his attorney, Stephen Klarich.
Anaheim police booked Plum into the city jail May 2 on two counts of unlawful intercourse, one count of oral copulation and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor--all felonies. Plum, a director of the high school band for three years, also was charged with six counts of child annoyance and molestation, said Detective Pattie Wasielewski.
Plum is the second Anaheim Union High School District band director to be arrested in the past year. Alex Delao, Katella High School’s former band director, is serving three years in Chino State prison after pleading guilty last year to child molestation charges, Wasielewski said.
Plum’s charges stem from complaints by two teen-age girls, both band members.
Plum’s attorney said the charges were fabricated after the band director rejected the advances of the girls, who have a “crush” on Plum, Klarich said.
“They were rejected. They wanted him and they couldn’t have him,” Klarich said, adding that other students have said that the two teen-agers, now 15 and 18, wrote Plum love notes and always sat toward the front of the class to stare at him.
Wasielewski said the girls, 15 and 17 at the time of the alleged incidents early last year and this year, reported the incidents because they were concerned about an upcoming band trip to Sacramento. “They felt they were taken advantage of and they didn’t want it to happen to anyone else,” Wasielewski said.
Plum was suspended without pay after his arrest, Klarich said.