Sherwood Piano Teacher Faces Several Sex Abuse Charges
A piano teacher at Let’s Make Music and Dance in Sherwood has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing one of his students. 29-year-old Christopher M. Griffin was arrested on March 9 and charged with sodomy, sex abuse, and unlawful sexual penetration.
According to the police, there were several encounters between Griffin and the 8-year-old female victim while Griffin was teaching piano lessons at the Sherwood music school, which works with kids from age 3 up to adult students.
Griffin’s mother DeLyn Griffin is the director of Let’s Make Music and Dance. On Sunday, she posted a statement maintaining her son’s innocence and stating that he would not be working for the school while charges are pending.
On March 12, Christopher Griffin was arrested a second time for allegedly violating a court order and contacting the alleged victim’s family. He has been charged with contempt of court for that offense. His bail has been increased and is currently set at over $1 million.
Legal Recourse for Sex Abuse Survivors and Their Families
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. Here is Brian’s perspective on the options for legal recourse available to survivors of abuse by instructors at dance studios, music schools, martial arts studios, and other businesses:
In any business that involves working with children, it’s critical that owners take all necessary measures to keep the kids under their watch safe. Tragically, sexual predators are often drawn to jobs in these types of businesses. These predators exploit their positions of trust and authority to commit heinous crimes. When this happens, the perpetrator must be held criminally responsible. Additionally, it’s also important to determine if the business owner was negligent in a way that enabled the abuse to occur.
For example, a dance studio might be considered negligent for the sexual abuse of one of their students if they ignored reports of sexual misconduct or hired an employee without first running a background check. In cases involving negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
If your child has recently come forward as a survivor of sexual abuse, we understand how traumatic this time is for your family. If you’d like to learn more about your family’s legal options, consider contacting one of our experienced sex abuse survivors lawyers for a free consultation.