Rochester music teacher indicted on 74 counts of child pornography

Monroe County

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC/WETM) — The music school owner accused of recording customers in the bathroom now faces 74 charges related to child pornography.

Philip Close, 42, owns the Close School of Music on West Ridge Road in Parma. On Thursday, a grand jury handed down an indictment charging him with 61 counts of of production of child pornography, and 13 counts of possession of material containing child pornography involving prepubescent minors.

According to U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Close has taught music throughout the state over the past 20 years. His music school in Parma offered lessons to children and adults.

The indictment comes almost exactly 1 year after a mother of two children taking lessons at the Close School of Music told the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office she found a video camera attached to a toilet in the school’s bathroom. Kennedy says Close was arrested when he admitted to police that the recording device belonged to him.

Deputies searched the school on Dec. 6, 2019, removing “multiple digital computing devices.” According to the indictment issued Thursday:

A preliminary review of the laptop located three videos of the child whose parent alerted the Sheriff’s Department. One of the videos included the child using the toilet. Another video shows the child laying down on a piano bench and Close’s leg. The defendant is seen moving the child’s shirt up to expose her stomach and touching her stomach. Close then begins to touch other parts of the child’s body. The child is seen sliding under the piano in what appears to be an attempt to prevent the defendant from touching any further.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says investigators found a total of 61 minor victims in child pornography produced by Close.

Close is scheduled to be arraigned on December 14.

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