Retired music teacher's sex trial continues

The first week of testimony in a historic sexual offences trial involving a retired violin teacher wrapped up Friday with more former students taking the stand.

But the testimony of one 43-year-old woman was challenged by defence lawyer Ken Marley Friday when he played the court multiple voice mails and telephone calls allegedly made by the witness to the accused, Claude Eric Trachy, and his wife in the early 2000s - writes

In these calls, the voice on the line asked for money and also made reference to legal action. In one message, the voice stated: “My patience will run thin by the end of the month.”

“It sounds like my voice,” the woman told the court during cross-examination. “I have absolutely no recollection of leaving any voice mails.”

Marley asked that the tape be entered as an exhibit.

The woman had testified earlier Friday that Trachy had measured her bare breast — ostensibly for the fitting of a shoulder rest — when she was approximately 14.

“I would look away and wait for it to be finished,” she said, noting Trachy also took a mould of her breast area.

Trachy, 72, was in Superior Court in Chatham facing numerous charges, including indecent assault, sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.

Friday’s first witness, a 54-year-old woman, said she took viola lessons from Trachy when she was 16. She said he put a ruler under her left breast, touching her nipple, and also measured her right.

This left her feeling intimidated and embarrassed, she said, at times becoming emotional on the stand.

“I feel foolish about how naive I was,” she said. “Why would I be measured that way?... I would never play in the nude.”

Marley, who has maintained his client measured students in a clinical manner, suggested the passage of time can sometimes impact one’s ability to recall details.

He asked the woman if she told her friend, also a student of Trachy’s, about what had happened.

“I didn’t speak to my friend about the measuring,” the woman said.

Trachy, who taught violin and viola, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which involve 25 complainants. The allegations date as far back as the 1970s. Chatham-Kent police laid charges in 2015.

Much testimony has focused on Trachy allegedly measuring the bare breast areas of his students in order to fit them with a shoulder rest for their instruments.

There is a publication ban on the names of complainants, or any information that could identify a complainant.

Cross-examination of the second witness will continue on Monday. Friday was a shortened trial day, as defence counsel had another court matter to deal with in the afternoon.

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