Former Parma music teacher who secretly recorded students sentenced to 50 years

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A U.S. district judge sentenced the former Parma music teacher who admitted to secretly recording his students to 50 years in federal prison.

Philip M. Close, 43, pleaded guilty in March to a 74-count indictment, including 61 counts of production of child pornography and 13 counts of possession of material containing child pornography involving minors.

Prosecutors say Close owned the Close School of Music on West Ridge Road in Parma and provided private music lessons to children between 2016 and 2019.

During that time, Close hid spy cameras throughout the school, including the bathroom, to record the students, parents, and other teachers.

Close produced hundreds of videos of child pornography involving 61 identified minors. While executing search warrants at the Close School of Music, investigators also discovered 13 devices that contained other images and videos of child pornography.

Before opening the Close School of Music in 2016, Close worked at a different music school. Between 2012 and 2016, prosecutors say he placed a spy camera in the bathroom of that school and intentionally recorded young girls.

Close was arrested in December 2019.