Former Parma music school owner sentenced to 50 years in prison for child pornography

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Philip Close, the former owner of Close School of Music, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Tuesday for child pornography, according to federal officials.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy announced Close’s sentencing after he pleaded guilty in May to 74 charges, including 61 counts of production of child pornography.

Close owned and operated the business on West Ridge Road from 2016 to 2019. He has admitted to hiding spy cameras to secretly record students, parents, and teachers in the building.

According to a statement from Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, Close used the cameras to record video of himself inappropriately touching students and himself during lessons.

Close also put hidden cameras in the only bathroom at the music school, one under the toilet and another facing the toilet. These cameras were used to record young girls using the bathroom.

Close was arrested in 2019, after a parent discovered one of these cameras.

McGuire says Close worked at a different music school before opening his own business. Between 2012 and 2016, he placed a hidden camera in the bathroom there for the same reason.

In total, investigators were able to identify 61 victims in the hundreds of videos of child pornography Close kept. The youngest identified victim was 4 years old.

Investigators also found 13 “devices” containing other child pornography in Close’s possession.

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