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Music Teacher Sentenced to Eight-Years Imprisonment for Raping and Abusing Pupils

Peter Antonelli, aged 66 years old, worked as a music teacher and received an MBE for his work in 2004. He worked at two schools in East Lothian for almost three decades. He has now been found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh for rape, lewd and libidinous conduct and indecent assault against six complainers. 

The abuse occurred between 1980 and 2005. The court heard that Antonelli groomed and abused young girls. One of the complainers explained that:  “He would run his hand seductively down your back. It was disgusting.”

Another explained that the accused called her ‘PB’, which stood for ‘perfect bum’. She also explained that he took indecent photographs of her and that he became ‘aroused’ by this. Antonelli made her perform sex acts on him and forced her to go on the pill when she turned 16 as he did not want her to get pregnant. She explained that he would continuously phone her and follow her. She stated to the court: ‘I didn’t know how to get out of it’. 

Antonelli admitted that he engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 17 and he was 31. In evidence he told Brian McConnachie QC, defending that: “At the time it was quite common then. Not now. But back then it was quite common.”

Antonelli denied the charges and claimed he had a consensual sexual relationship with one of his pupils when she turned 17. However, he was found guilty and sentence was deferred for a Criminal Justice and Social Work Report. 

Judge Gilchrist imposed an eight-year sentence and stated: “Each of these offences represent a gross breach of trust and flagrant abuse of position for the purpose of sexual gratification. They were significantly vulnerable children as a result of their domestic circumstances. You exploited both of those factors in order to sexually abuse them. You appeared to offer them support – both emotional and what might be expected of a teacher. 

But you were in fact grooming and isolating and manipulating them into a position of dependency upon you where you were able to sexually abuse them.”

He was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life. 

 

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