There is no easy way to begin this message, so I'll just give it to you straight. A friend of mine recently told me she was molested several years ago by her piano teacher, and when I asked further about this, she told me that she never told her parents or a figure of authority. When I urged her to tell the police or her parents about this, she refused to. Normally, I would leave any decisions regarding such a personal and terrible matter to her, but it is believed that he is still working as a children's piano teacher in a nearby city. The thought of children being in danger of assault is unbearable, and I would have acted sooner if I believed my actions would have an immediate effect. This is where you gentleman can help. What is the best course of action to ensure that he is put to justice and unable to harm others? I need a plan of attack because the crime occurred several years ago and she needs to be on board for this if the attacker is to be imprisoned. She has refused all of my calls for action, and we are currently not on the best of terms. Any advice or words of experience would be greatly appreciated, especially from those with legal experience. Thank you.
I don't think you can. You don't have any evidence but hearsay. You can make the pitch to her that he's still out there harming people, and I hope she will listen.
But maybe you should talk to someone who is a mandated reporter on this (psychotherapist, teacher, some such), who would know better than I.
I will say that I would push this as well. I really hope you can do something.
Thank you very much, sir. I know its not my burden, but the guilt of inaction is destroying me.
Are you still a minor? Is she? If so, I have more advice. Regardless:
Just because what you tell the police is hearsay doesn't mean it's worthless. They can still investigate. Maybe there are other reports about this creep, and they tell you that, and you tell your friend, and she agrees to cooperate with the police. Maybe they just let him know they're watching, and that gets him to back off.
If the creep is licensed (check the state's education board online and any other agencies you can think of), that body will have more resources to investigate, and can remove his license on less evidence than it takes to convict someone of a felony and send him to jail.
Does the creep work through any referral service? That's one area that might work immediately to stop kids coming to him: If you can persuade your friend to complain, even vaguely, about him to the referral service. "I didn't like his manner of instruction. It always made me very nervous, and I felt we did not concentrate enough on my music."
There's an old saying, "The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine." I doubt you alone can get this guy arrested the same day you talk to the police, but a good police officer may help you persuade your friend to talk.
The correct agency to go to is that of the place where the crime occurred, not where the creep lives now. Note that almost all places in the US have three levels of law enforcement - local, state, and federal. If you feel you're being ignored by one, go to the next.
I believe that he worked privately, not at a school, but that is not confirmed. I also do not know if he works through a referral service. We are both still under eighteen years of age, which probably has some effect on all of this. The largest obstacle is getting her to come forward. If I was to talk to a police officer or school councilor, they could likely give her the necessary to boost to come forward, but she is, as of now, too afraid. Thank you very much for our advice, by the way.
OK. If you tell your friend's teacher (or doctor or pastor or just about any other professional) she has been abused, that professional is required to report your report to Child Protective Services, or your area's equivalent. CPS is then required to investigate. They will begin their investigation by talking to your friend.
If you think such a trained professional (the investigator, not the teacher) will get through to your friend, this is definitely the way to go. I might advise otherwise if you think she'll lie to any adult who investigates. That could wreck her credibility if there's another investigation (because someone else reports the creep). On the other hand, it would begin a trail about the creep. That will be useful if there are now or ever are in the future other reports about this creep.
If you attend the same school as your friend, choose whichever adult you trust most/like most to tell about this. It doesn't have to be the school counselor or anyone in particular.
Not a bad idea. I like it.
I do not believe she would lie to an investigating professional, and the involvement of CPS is a very good idea. Thank you very much again, I believe I know what to do now.
Very happy to help
CPS is usually a state- or maybe county-level agency. The mandatory reporter is calling a state hotline. So there's no need to alert CPS both where the abuse took place and where the creep lives now; that's just the single CPS agency's right and left hands.
My understanding is that the law enforcement professionals don't usually use guilt trips to get witnesses to come forward, not minor-age witnesses, anyway. It's neither effective nor good for the victim. (Sexual abuse especially often leads to feelings of unwarranted guilt; adding to it does nothing for the victim's healing and is ineffective to change the victim's behavior.) Instead, the encouragement to report or testify most often takes the form of self-empowerment: "You can prove you're bigger than this, bigger than him, by taking control of the situation and bringing him to justice."
Still, the people actually in the situation know it best.
There's no reason you can't report him to a licensing board or the cops. Let them worry about finding evidence. Let them ask the girl themselves. If she's pissed off at you anyway, not going to do much more damage to the friendship.
Just bring it to the attention of someone that can do something about it.
Indeed, its just that I don't have any more details about him than what I provided above.
Sadly, I have no advice for you in this matter. I will say Rebekah's advice seems to be good. Beyond that, all I can offer you is my encouragement and moral support. Your desire to do something about this awful crime, to protect others from the hurt your friend has suffered, is honourable and courageous.