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Piano Teacher Arrested In Normal On Sexual Assault Charges

Aaron Parlier
Bloomington Police
Aaron Michael Parlier, left, in 2008 and again in 2011.

A 36-year-old local piano teacher was arrested Tuesday in Normal on allegations he sexually assaulted an underage girl who was apparently one of his students. Police say there are likely more victims.

Aaron Michael Parlier, who last lived in Pekin, was arrested in the 1300 block of Warriner Street around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Task Force, Bloomington Police said. Authorities had announced earlier Tuesday they were looking for Parlier on an arrest warrant.

Parlier faces 10 felony sexual assault counts, filed last week in McLean County court. He’s accused of assaulting the same girl in Bloomington between July 2009-2010 when she was under age 13, and again between July 2010-2013 when she was still under 18. One of the charges is predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony. That charge alone carries a potential sentence of six to 60 years in prison if convicted.

All 10 counts relate to the same victim, said McLean County State’s Attorney Jason Chambers. It’s unclear if the victim was one of Parlier’s piano students. The charges allege Parlier “held a position of trust, authority, or supervision in relation” to the girl who was assaulted.

Parlier’s arrest Tuesday came after a "lengthy and ongoing investigation," Bloomington Police said. "There is a great probability" of more victims, said police spokesperson Elias Mendiola.

“Parlier had given piano lessons to children at many places throughout the Bloomington-Normal area over the last several years,” Bloomington Police said. “The Bloomington Police Department is asking that anyone who may have been a piano student of Parlier, and/or believe they could have been a victim, contact the department.”

Brendan Bukalski, an attorney representing Parlier, said Tuesday that "we're confident in our client's innocence."

"(We) look forward to the day when police return his reputation to what it was before they besmirched it," Bukalski said via email. "I expect he'll have a bond hearing (Wednesday) at 1 p.m., at which we plan to attend and hope the judiciary gives us an opportunity to be heard."

Parlier rented lesson space at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts from 2011 through March 2016, a city spokesperson said. He's also listed in state records as the owner of Aaron's Piano Service LLC.

"He's very well known in that (music) community," said Mendiola.

Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said Parlier is not currently a suspect in any similar crimes in Normal.

Anyone who has information is encouraged to contact Detective John Heinlen at (309) 434-2672. Those looking to remain anonymous are asked to call McLean County Crime Stoppers at (309) 828-1111.

Parlier is being held at the McLean County jail on $1 million bond.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Parlier rented space at the BCPA, not the Creativity Center, based on an updated statement from the City of Bloomington.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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