See Update No. 2 on page 2 on the total number of victims pinned to John Mordecai Scott rising to five, and the potential penalty now standing at 111 years in state prison. Update No. 1 was on the piano teacher's original arraignment.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 11, 8:17 A.M.: A 58-year-old man who taught piano to children at his Lake Forest home and two South County music shops has been arrested for allegedly taking lewd photos of at least two female students.
An investigation by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force led to the arrest of John Mordecai Scott at his home in the 20700 block of El Toro Road in Lake Forest on Friday, according to a statement from Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock, the department spokesman.
While the case currently centers on two girls, investigators fear there may be other victims.
Parents of one girl came forward with information that led to the task force investigation that resulted in Scott's arrest, after which the second female student came forward, according to Hallock.
The photos could have been shot in Scott's home and/or Coast Band Music in Mission Viejo and OC Music in Rancho Santa Margarita, Hallock said.
Because Scott worked with so many students, investigators fear there may be other victims and have asked anyone with information to call the sheriff's department at 714.647.7000 or 714.647.7418.
Meanwhile, Scott is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He was being held at Orange County Jail on $500,000 bail.
UPDATE NO. 1, AUG. 12, 12:36 P.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's office announced charges against John Mordecai Scott today that could send the South County piano teacher to state prison for 30 years and four months.
The 58-year-old Lake Forest resident is scheduled to be arraigned some time today on one felony count of continuous sexual abuse, four felony counts of a lewd act upon a child under 14, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor, one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, one felony count of possession and control of child pornography, four felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, and one misdemeanor count of child annoyance.
He also faces a sentencing enhancement for obscene matter used during a sexual offense, announced the OCDA, noting the defendant remains behind bars at the Central Jail in Santa Ana in lieu of $500,000 bail.
[UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: City News Service reports Scott pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing.]
UPDATE NO. 2, AUG. 22, 12:39 P.M.: Turns out investigators and prosecutors have been busy since John Mordecai Scott pleaded not guilty at an Aug. 12 arraignment hearing to sexually abusing two girls.
A statement the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) sent over today indicates there are now five victims and therefore additional charges that–with a conviction on the original and newer counts–could send the South County piano teacher to state prison for 111 years and four months.
Before the fifth girl came forward, Scott was looking at up to 30 years and four months in prison. She contacted authorities after seeing media accounts of Scott's arrest, according to the OCDA, which adds that the latest case produced these new charges filed today: two felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 and a sentencing enhancement for committing lewd acts on multiple victims.
Scott's charges for the other four victims are: one felony count of continuous sexual abuse, four felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor, one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, one felony count of possession and control of child pornography, four felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child, one misdemeanor count of child annoyance, and a sentencing enhancement for obscene matter used during a sexual offense.
Held on $1 million bail, Scott is scheduled to appear at a continued arraignment on Sept. 26 in Newport Beach.
He is accused of showing inappropriate photos and taking inappropriate photos of all five girls. Scott allegedly committed lewd acts with the first, second and now fifth victim. And the investigation, which includes the hunt for possible other victims, continues. Anyone with information is asked to contact sheriff's Investigator Sandra Longnecker at 714.647.7418 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Paul Carvo at 714.347.8794.