Baku-APA. A music teacher who trained at the Moscow Conservatory and runs music schools in New York has been accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl, and authorities are investigating whether there may be other victims, The New York Daily News reported Friday, APA reports quoting Associated Press.
Ilya Lehman, 70, has three locations for The Early Ear, a music and dance school in New York. He instructs children as young as 4 months old in music, according to the company website.
Speaking through a Russian interpreter, he pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom Thursday to charges of sex abuse and a course of sexual misconduct against a child, the paper reported.
The alleged assaults took place between September 2011 and April 2013. When confronted by the girl’s mother, Lehman allegedly dispatched a lawyer to offer her a refund. He also offered to shutter his business and leave the country for a year, prosecutors claim.
Lehman did leave the country but was arrested upon his return to New York on July 15. Deeming Lehman a flight risk, the judge ordered him to be held without bail, the paper reported.
Lehman has a doctorate in music from the Moscow Conservatory and pioneered a system of early musical education in the USSR.
“The most important point, that kids love you,” he told The New York Observer in 2004.