After being found guilty of abusing eight girls over nearly two decades, a former popular California piano teacher faces a sentence of 111 years to life in prison.
John Mordecai Scott, 65, was convicted of 26 counts of sexual abuse of minors, including lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, lewd acts on a child, continuous sexual abuse, using a minor for sex acts, possession and control of child pornography, distributing pornography to a child, and child annoyance.
The defendant was initially detained in 2014 on suspicion of presenting obscene photographs to one of his students and photographing her lewdly in his Lake Forest, California, home where he provided piano lessons. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s subsequent investigation rapidly unearthed several additional complainants as well as evidence of his ownership of a sizable collection of child pornography.
Scott was charged with sexually abusing 11 girls in total at the conclusion of the investigation. Before to trial, however, one claimed victim opted out of the proceedings, and two charges were removed prior to Orange County jurors returning their decision on Monday, March 14, 2022, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to court records obtained by the newspaper, the defendant’s first documented episode of abuse occurred in 1996, while he was teaching at Music Makers in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. He grabbed the girl’s breasts there, forced her to open her legs during a timing exercise, and forced her to lie down on a piano bench as he lifted up her underpants. He threatened her not to come forward following the incident. Six years later, she complained to Music Makers–but Scott was no longer teaching there at the time.
Prosecutors allege that the defendant engaged in the “metronome game of spreading [their] legs to the music” with at least two additional victims: one who was assaulted from the ages of 8 to 11; and another who was exploited from the ages of 13 to 16.
Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic of Orange County testified before jurors that several of the girls were assaulted in the defendant’s house.
Scott sexually attacked one such victim when she was 11 years old, claiming to be a “doctor” checking on her development and ensuring everything was normal. The same victim was also exposed to pornographic periodicals placed about the defendant’s house, Bracic stated.
Another victim, the prosecutor stated, was 15 years old when she “took racy images with the defendant.” Scott drove the girl to his house during that violent teacher-student connection, according to the Orange County Register, while describing his sex life and drug use. At one point, he pleaded with her to pose for shots in a certain style of swimwear. She declined, Bracic stated, but then proceeded to model other gowns for him while he watched her strip down.
“You know, you could do internet porn,” the defendant said to the 15-year-old during their session, the prosecutor relayed.
She declined again, but consented to model lingerie for him until she looked over and discovered Scott had stripped naked, according to a trial account by Los Angeles Fox station KTTV.
“She screams, ‘No, no, we’re not going anywhere,'” Bracic explained to jurors. She added that the defendant then “apologised excessively” and urged her not to inform her parents about what occurred during music class that day.
The adolescent did inform police. At the time, no charges were filed.
Scott began molesting a seven-year-old girl in 2002. Bracic testified that the torture “began with tickling.”
The defendant then made his way forward.
He would intrude on the girl when she was using the restroom, claiming he needed to ensure she cleaned her hands. He slipped obscene photos taken from his mags inside the girl’s sheet music on occasion. Scott, a family friend, grabbed the youngster on at least one time, giving the victim pause as to who might believe what she was going through.
This continued for around three years, until 2005, when the girl attempted to catch the defendant in the act by concealing one of the defendant’s magazines to show her mother. Scott temporarily left the room, then returned to angrily seek for the magazine, which he recovered just in time. Following that lesson and near-miss, the girl finally confided in her mother.
Prosecutors allege that the youngest accused victim was an autistic girl who was mistreated beginning at the age of five. Judge Steve Bromberg of Orange County Superior Court later dismissed the charge.
Scott returned to teaching in 2014, following his divorce from his wife, at Coast Band Music in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he proceeded to mistreat his students. Following several years of such reports, police enforcement launched the investigation that resulted in his current convictions in 2014. He was apprehended after authorities discovered child pornography on his computer.
The defendant posted $1 million bond and was released pending his conviction. His sentencing is scheduled for May 13, 2022.