The MusicArt Studio in Daly City is normally considered a safe place for parents to send their children for music education. However, recent events have Bay area students and parents alike wondering what vetting processes are used with substitute or visiting teachers. A scandal began when 28-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) Danville resident was accused of touching the breasts of at least 3 female students (13 and 15) during private tutoring sessions. It has been reported that the owner of MusicArt Studio was out of the country when the incidents allegedly occurred.
Child molestation is a crime under California law and is referred to, collectively, as “lewd acts with a child” (CA Penal Code 288). Violations of this law can include any kind of touching that is meant to cause sexual pleasure for the perpetrator. In his case, the lewd act in question is the touching of 3 children’s sexual organs (their breasts), but even if he had not touched them in private places, he could have still been accused of molestation if the touching had caused him sexual gratification or arousal.
Normally, the penalty for such a crime is a maximum of 8 years in state prison. However, if he’s convicted on all 3 counts, he may face 16 years in prison. This is due to the fact that there is a caveat in the law that justifies harsher punishment when the prosecution can show a pattern of at least 3 incidents within 3 months or more.