The former band director for one of the region’s most acclaimed high school marching band programs has been sentenced to jail.
Mason High School’s former band leader Robert Bass was sentenced Tuesday to six months in the Greene County Jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges against a 17-year-old female band student at Fairborn High School in 1996.
Bass resigned from the high school earlier this year after Fairborn Police began their investigation into allegations against the musical director, who had been with the Warren County school for 18 years.
Greene County Criminal Court Judge Michael Buckwalter also sentenced Bass — who pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony — to receive a mental health evaluation and sex offender treatment and required him to register as a sexually oriented offender for 10 years.
The sentencing comes almost a year after the pinnacle of Bass’ career at Mason when he led the nationally acclaimed marching band in the New Year’s Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. The Rose Parade performance was historic — Mason is one of only two Southwest Ohio high school bands to earn an invite — and a source of pride for the community.
Bass has declined to comment.
Bass was hired by Mason Schools in 1998 and transformed its 76-member marching band into a national musical powerhouse.
In 2014 the 313-member band and color guard earned a prestigious invite to perform in the 2016 Rose Parade. Only 20 American high school bands are invited each year, and the Mason band performed before a global TV audience of 79 million.