Reporting Kate Raddatz
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 29-year-old private music teacher from Coon Rapids, Minn. was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct last Wednesday.
According to the charges, Robert James Ladwig was teaching a private music lesson in an Eden Prairie home when the criminal sexual conduct occurred.
The charges state the victim, a 13-year-old boy, was touched inappropriately during in-home music lessons over a three-month period.
Police met with the boy’s father on June 28, who said he hired Ladwig for private flute lessons. He said on June 27, Ladwig was supposed to give his son a flute lesson from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., but when he arrived home at 4:30 p.m., he saw Ladwig’s car was still at their home.
He said he walked into the family room and Ladwig sitting very close to his son on the couch but as soon as they noticed him come in, they moved apart. Ladwig then asked for permission to stay a little longer to play video games with the boy, but his father denied the request and Ladwig left, according to the criminal complaint.
Later that evening, both parents talked to the boy about what was witnessed earlier that day. According to the complaint, the boy told them Ladwig would touch him inappropriately and make him feel uncomfortable.
In an interview with police, the boy told officers these type of incidents happened over the last three months, usually starting with a massage during his flute lesson.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says it’s common for children to hold back on speaking up.
“This is conduct the young person doesn’t want to have but doesn’t quite know what to do about it because it’s a person of authority,” Freeman said.
Police records indicate Ladwig was accused of a similar incident involving a female student in Eden Prairie. In that incident, he was accused of kissing the girl on the lips. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to disorderly conduct in the case and revealed to his ex-wife that he received counseling for his struggles with child pornography.
“Thankfully in this case it was stopped before more serious conduct was undertaken,” Freeman said. “Let’s listen to our kids and if our kids are acting a little different, let’s talk with them about what’s going on,” he said.
Eden Prairie Police is reminding parents about the importance of talking with children and asking detailed questions about what takes place when they’re in the supervision of another individual.
“Especially if there is some kind of sexual activity involved. The child once again feels dirty, feels bad, like they have done something wrong, so they will cower down and hide, not just out of embarrassment but because they are afraid,” police Sgt. Jaime Good said.
Anything suspicious should be reported to police.