‘Close School of Music’ owner now facing federal child porn charges

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A local business owner accused of recording customers in the bathroom is now facing federal child porn charges.

Monday, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced that Philip Close, 42 of Rochester, and owner of the Close School of Music in Parma, was arrested following allegations that he was recording customers on a video camera in the bathroom of his business.

Tuesday, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy announced that Close had been arrested and was facing federal charges of production of child pornography.

The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum sentence of 30 years, and a $250,000 fine.

Close’s business, the Close School of Music on West Ridge Road in the Town of Parma, offers private music lessons to children and adults of all ages. Close has been teaching music lessons throughout New York State for over 20 years.

According to the federal complaint, sheriff’s deputies received a complaint on December 5, a mother of two children at the business says she found a camera in the bathroom and then she contacted 911.

A sheriff’s deputy responded to the business, where Close acknowledged that the device was his and he was taken into custody.

The following day, a search warrant was exectued at Close’s residence. According to the federal complaint:

“Multiple digital computing devices were seized, including a laptop computer. A preliminary review of the laptop located three videos of Minor Victim 1. One of the videos included Minor Victim 1 using the toilet. Another video shows Minor Victim 1 laying down on a piano bench and Close’s leg. The defendant is seen moving Minor Victim 1’s shirt up to expose her stomach and touching her stomach. Close then begins to touch other parts of Minor Victim 1’s body. Minor Victim 1 is seen sliding under the piano in what appears to be an attempt to prevent the defendant from touching any further.”

Close is being held pending a detention hearing, which was scheduled for December 17.

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