An evil teacher who has been jailed for raping and abusing his pupils was close friends with Christopher Ling, a former violin teacher accused of molesting girls at Chetham’s School of Music.
Peter Antonelli, of Gullane, East Lothian, used the same twisted techniques to abuse girls as his ex-flatmate Ling, Daily Record reports. Ling took his own life in 2015 as he was about to be extradited from the US to face 77 sex offense charges in the UK. He was accused of assaulting 10 girls at the top music school.
One of 66-year-old Antonelli’s six victims has revealed she met Ling when he visited Scotland and that he made a series of obscene comments to her and another pupil. Both men, who studied at London’s Royal College of Music, groomed their victims, forcing them to wear lingerie and perform sex acts as they took naked pictures. They also manipulated them so they wouldn’t reveal the abuse.
READMORE: Prestigious music school treated reputation as ‘more important than sex abuse victims’, says damning report
Grace – not her real name – gave evidence against piano teacher Antonelli last year and said Ling referred to his pal’s pupils as “the rides of the future.” Campaigner Dr Ian Pace, a pianist who has worked to expose historical abuse between students and teachers in specialist music schools, described the perverts’ links as “very significant.”
He said: “It would be of interest to compare their modus operandi. How exactly they used their techniques for manipulating, cajoling and then abusing pupils under their care. Ling appears to have had his sort of abuse down to a type of art form, as he would have seen it.”
The BBC Scotland show Disclosure: Abused By My Teacher – which screens on BBC1 at 10.40pm tomorrow – tells the stories of the survivors who brought Antonelli to justice. And it reveals the current loopholes in the regulation of children’s performing arts in Scotland.
Grace was one of the teacher and musical director’s earliest victims. She was just 10 years old when she started working at her primary school.
Antonelli – who was awarded an MBE in 2004 for his services to musical education – abused her at a time when she was facing difficulties at home and her ordeal began on the day of her grandmother’s funeral when she was just 14 and continued for the next five years.
Grace was 15 and with another 13-year-old victim when she met Ling. She said: “Ling said to Antonelli, ‘Look at these girls, they’re the rides of the future.’”
Grace had seen many photographs of other girls in Antonelli’s flat and believed that the pictures were passed around to other people. Another victim, Emma, said she had been sexually abused by Antonelli from the late 90s until 2005 and had kept the secret hidden for two decades.
She had been taught by him at school and was also in a musical theater group called Musical Youth. The women reveal why they decided to go to the police and why they are determined to pursue the case after so many years.
Emma said: “I wanted justice for myself, I wanted justice for other women and I want him to not be able to do this to other children ever again, and he can’t.”
Grace said: “I wanted a quiet life. But actually you can only run away for so long and then you’ve got to turn and face it. So that’s what I had to do.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.