ADA — A man many considered an institution at Allen East Schools is under investigation by the Ada Police Department and the Hardin County Prosecutor’s Office. Dennis Dellifield, 68, Ada, former band director at Allen East, is being questioned about alleged inappropriate activities involving minors and faces possible charges, including pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, a second-degree felony.

According to Ada Chief of Police Mike Harnishfeger, the investigations began last February when a 16-year old boy and his parents contacted the Ada PD with concerns about communication between the boy and Dellifield. The teen is a former student of Dellifield’s.

As part of the report delivered to the Hardin County Prosecutor’s Office, Harnishfeger stated that the boy turned over 44 letters from Dellifield, reportedly written between July 25 of last year and Feb. 13. In the letters, Dellifield expressed affection for the child. The boy additionally turned over his cell phone, on which he claims is a text message from Dellifield requesting a photograph of the boy’s penis in an aroused state.

The report included synopses of conversations between Harnishfeger and Dellifield, wherein Dellifield justifies his request for the sexually explicit photo.

“Upon speaking with Dellifield during the course of this investigation,” Harnishefeger states in his report, “Dellifield admitted that he did send a text to the 16-year old minor requesting a photo via phone message of his ‘erection’. Dellifield stated that the reason for such a request was to ‘fit’ or ‘size’ the 16-year-old for a condom as he was concerned about the child getting a girl pregnant. Dellifield stated that the would have deleted the photo from his phone after he was done ‘fitting’ or ‘sizing’ the minor.” In addition, Dellifield reported having maintained a relationship with the boy, communicating with him regularly and taking him out to a monthly dinner where the child would discuss his “sexual exploits.”

The report further stipulates that while Dellifield professes never having received such a photo, he acknowledged sharing texts with the minor and three other former students, including an 18-year old former student from whom he did receive a sexually explicit image roughly three weeks ago. That image, Dellifield admitted, remains on his phone.

As a consequence of the complaint, the Ada PD served three search warrants on Feb. 15, Feb. 22 and March 8 resulting in the confiscation of a cell phone, a laptop, a flash drive, one DVD disc, 10 other discs and a Facebook photo from Dellifield’s home.

With regard to the information contained on the confiscated devices, Dellifield advised the Ada PD that his research into a book on teen leadership.

“Dellifield advised that he is in the process of writing a book on teenage leadership and is investigating the correlations of tennage sex, specifically masturbation and oral sex,” Harnishfeger stated in his report. “Dellifield advised that due to his research he has visited many websites that depict teenage masturbation and oral sex, both heterosexual as well as homosexual images and videos. Dellifield advises that the images and videos are of young to mid-teen children.”

This most recent investigation is not the first time Dellifield has faced questions regarding his relationships with minors. Last March, he abruptly resigned his position as director of the Mustang Brass. Over the course of conversations with the Ada PD, Dellifield that his resignation was the consequence of a student’s claim that he had kissed her on the lips. His abrupt departure last March prompted a student protest, a sit-in at the school, and a special “One More Time” concert at the old Allen East school grounds in Lafayette, at which Dellifield served as conductor. Jordan Blythe, a graphic artist with DHI Media — the company that owns the Ada Herald — reports that Dellifield’s former students would serenade him at his home to show their respect and in protest of his departure.

Hardin County Prosecutor Bradford W. Bailey says that the investigation remains open at this time and the pandering charge, as well as other potential charges, will eventually be presented to a Hardin County grand jury.

“There’s no time frame I’m going to put on it until we’re satisfied that we’ve done everything and, so to speak, chased every potential lead down,” Bailey said. “We’re not going to present it until we have what we feel is a complete investigation. What we have is a preliminary grasp of the current problem, but there’s a bigger scope here that we’re looking at.”