Former Parma music school owner Philip Close sentenced by state

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Philip Close, the former owner of the Close School of Music in Parma, was sentenced to three to nine years in prison on Tuesday. That sentence, on state charges, will be served alongside the 50-year federal sentence he received in August for child pornography.

Close owned and operated the music school on West Ridge Road from 2016 to 2019. He admitted to hiding spy cameras in the building and pleaded guilty in May to 74 counts, including 61 counts of producing pornography juvenile.

According to prosecutors, Close used the cameras to record video of himself inappropriately touching students and himself during class.

Close also placed hidden cameras in the music school‘s only bathroom, one under the toilet and another facing the toilet. These cameras were used to record young girls using the bathroom.

At the time of his original sentencing, prosecutors said Close worked at another music school before opening his own business. Between 2012 and 2016, he placed a hidden camera in the bathroom there for the same reason.

In total, investigators were able to identify 61 victims in the hundreds of child pornography videos held by Close. The youngest victim identified was 4 years old.

In court on state charges on Tuesday, Close was sentenced to one to three years in prison on three separate counts of unlawful surveillance, for a total of three to nine years. This will run concurrently with his 50-year federal sentence, along with 10 years of parole. Close will also have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

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