Metro Atlanta violin instructor, 85, arrested for child molestation

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An 85-year-old violin teacher has been arrested and charged with molesting a student at his studio in Gainesville, Ga., police said Tuesday.

Leon Messerlian, the owner of the Oxford Academy of Classical Studies, also faces charges of sexual battery and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. Messerlian allegedly preyed on a 12-year-old student for the past five years, the Gainesville Times reported.

The Harvard-educated instructor has been teaching kids and adults in the town roughly 50 miles northeast of Atlanta for the past 14 years, WAGA-TV reported. Deputies arrested him on July 29 and he’s being held without bond.

Detectives in the sheriff’s office are trying to find any other possible victims, investigator Nicole Bailes told the TV station Tuesday.

“We have a lot of electronic devices that we have to go through at this time,” Bailes said. “We want to reach out to other people that may have been clients of Mr. Messerlian that feel like their children may have been victimized.”

But the property manager at Messerlian’s longtime studio told the TV station he’s never seen any evidence of pervy behavior.

“My kids have gone through his classes, my kids’ friends,” said Boyd Helm. “We have a network of many people that have gone through his classes, and I just believe these accusations are false.”

(Photo: Hall County Sheriffs Office)

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