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Trial underway for former Bloomington teacher charged with child sex crimes

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BLOOMINGTON — The first of potentially six trials for a former Bloomington piano teacher charged with 38 counts of sexual misconduct against a child began Monday with prosecutors accusing him of producing child pornography for his “gratification.”

Aaron M. Parlier, 40, who was a resident of Mackinaw at the time of his 2018 arrest, is charged in this trial with 10 counts of producing child pornography and 10 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor less than 13 years of age.

Parlier is being tried separately on allegations from each victim. He also is charged with nine counts of criminal sexual assault of a minor between 13 and 17 years of age, four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of child pornography possession.

The offenses alleged in Monday’s trial took place between April 2012 and April 2016 against one girl who was less than 13 years old.

McLean County State’s Attorney Don Knapp said Parlier “created and produced a significant amount of child pornography.”

Defense lawyer Gal Pissetzky, however, told the judge “there was no intercourse.”

“In fact, you will hear that it was (the child) that planned on having that sexual intercourse in the first place and when she said no, Mr. Parlier stopped and you will see every single time Mr. Parlier did not force himself, not on her or anybody else,” Pissetkzy said.

Parlier is accused of sexually assaulting the child while he had been hired by a Bloomington family to teach piano lessons.

Bloomington police began their investigation into alleged misconduct by Parlier, who formerly lived in Pekin, in September 2017 after a teenage girl told authorities about her experience as Parlier's student.

The girl's mother testified in court Monday that her daughter began piano lessons with Parlier at 6 years old.

Knapp read several quotes from Parlier in videos seized by authorities that depicted him telling a child to perform sexual acts with him.

“There will be no doubt once you see the video as the evidence comes in, that the actions taken were for the sexual gratification of the defendant,” Knapp said.

Knapp said the 20 charges against Parlier in the trial each do not represent one video or image.

Prosecutors played 13 videos in court Monday of Parlier performing sexual acts with one girl.

Parlier was present in the courtroom, but he sat facing forward and did not watch any of the videos.

The videos showed Parlier directing the girl what to do and what to say. The girl also was directing her speech to another girl not in the video, comparing sexual performances.

Parlier faces life in prison if he is convicted of sexually assaulting more than one child victim.

Contact Kade Heather at 309-820-3256. Follow him on Twitter: @kadeheather


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