Closing arguments wrap up for Bloomington piano teacher accused of sexually assaulting students

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Aaron Parlier knew his victim was less than 13 years old when he filmed and engaged in sexual acts with her, because he started giving her piano lessons at age six, prosecutors said during closing arguments Tuesday.

Bloomington piano teacher Parlier, 40, is standing trial for one of the six victims he has been accused of molesting. He has been indicted on 38 total counts of producing child pornography, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse against six students. The first trial deals with counts 19 through 38.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said Parlier knew his victim was under the age of 13 when he engaged in sexual acts with her and recorded them. The girl’s mother on Monday had said children typically begin piano lessons at age seven, so Parlier initially had the girl do an assessment to see if she could start early.

Prosecutors said that proves Parlier knew the victim’s age at the time of the alleged offenses, which took place from April 2012 to April 2016.

The mother explicitly said her daughter was no more than eight or nine years old when presented “sanitized” images taken from the videos when she testified on Monday. She recognized the piano room in several of the photos, which was where Parlier gave the girl piano lessons once a week.

“The videos speak for themselves,” said prosecutor Erika Reynolds. “I believe we have met our burden…beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, we have shown more than enough.”

The graphic videos were from laptops retrieved when Bloomington police executed a search warrant on Parlier’s home in January 2018.

During his closing remarks, defense attorney Adam Bolotin said the prosecution had “five counts at most,” while contending “it’s not the mere possession of videos. The state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he filmed 10 separate acts.”

The defense finished giving closing arguments at approximately 10:50 a.m. Tuesday.

A ruling on the case is set to take place at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 22.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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