‘Close School of Music’ owner accused of recording customers in bathroom


PARMA, N.Y. (WROC) — A Rochester man is facing charges after accusations that he illegally recorded patrons in a bathroom at his business.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office officials say Philip Close, 42 of Rochester, placed a camera in the bathroom at a Parma business that he owns, the Close School of Music, on West Ridge Road.

The arrest stems from the discovery of a camera by a customer in the bathroom of the music school.

Close is charged with second degree unlawful surveillance, a Class E felony. He was remanded to the Monroe County jail on $2,000 cash and $4,000 bond.

We are expecting it to be a lengthy investigation and it’s most likely going to take some time to get to the bottom of how deep the unlawful surveillance issue was,” said Sgt. Michael Thomas.

Close was arrested on December 5 after the customer’s notice to authorities. Sunday, December 8, a search warrant was executed at Close’s city of Rochester residence to secure any further potential evidence.

“There was belief that the potential of evidence could be at his house or personal vehicle and that’s why we took those steps,” Thomas said. “We take this very seriously and we didn’t want to leave any stone unturned.”

Officials say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with further information in connection to this case is urged to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Records Unit at 585-753-4175.

“Any current or past members or students of the Close School of Music or Phillip Close are urged to contact the records unit, Thomas said. “I’m sure once they hear this arrest they’re going to be concerned. We’re going to answer as many questions as we can and then we’ll prioritize those as we see fit.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the Close School of Music has been operating since 2016.

“There were other camera that we did recover throughout the store, trying to figure out which ones were store surveillance cameras and which was were unlawful,” Thomas said.

Officials from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference Monday to further discuss details of this arrest and investigation.

Full press conference

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office press release

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