The director of the famed Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band stepped down last month after an investigation suggested that he may have had a sexual relationship with a teenage band member. A report [pdf] released yesterday alleges, among other things, that 31-year-old Tyrone Brown went shopping at Victoria's Secret with the 17-year-old female student (called "Student A" in the report); shared connecting hotel rooms with Student A during a band trip to Bermuda; was frequently seen with Student A "flirting, holding hands, and hugging"; and exchanged some 2,999 text messages with her in one month back in the summer of '08—with a cell phone he bought for her without her mother's knowledge.
Oh, and one time another employee for Brooklyn Steppers arrived for a meeting at Brown's house, and Student A answered the door in her pajamas. Also, Brown's estranged wife claims he admitted the affair to her. All that and more can be found in the sordid report, but schools investigator Richard Condon tells NY1 Brown won't face charges:
There's no criminal acts alleged here. First of all, we don't allege a sexual relationship although some people said there was a sexual relationship, we don't allege that. And the girl was 17 during the time that we looked at so even if there was a sexual relationship it wouldn't be a crime.
It seems that Brown's resignation could be the extent of his punishment; the age of consent in New York State is 17, and the Brooklyn Steppers are not directly administered by the Department of Education. But the group, which has been lauded for its outreach work with at-risk kids, operates out of the Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy, and employees are expected to adhere to the DOE rules, which do frown upon adult-student romance. (Here's video of the band in action at the Apollo.)
Student A insists their relationship was strictly platonic, and Brown also denies the charges, blaming the investigation on a "disgruntled employee" and telling the Daily News, "I never had sexual contact with her. I could understand how they say 'inappropriate.' I am very hands-on with my kids. I am involved in every aspect of their life."