Piano teacher found guilty
of molesting young student
Bay City News Service
March 10, 2006
It took nearly an hour today for a San Mateo County court clerk
to read back the verdicts in the trial of a piano teacher accused
of molesting one of his young students.
After deliberating for about 12 hours, the five-man, seven-woman
jury found Fremont resident Boping Chen, 54, guilty of 63 counts
of committing lewd acts upon a minor under the age of 14. The
crimes took place between March 2001 and August 2004, the San
Mateo County district attorney's office reported.
Chen, who was dressed in a navy blue suit today, appeared emotionless
throughout the court proceedings as he listened intently with
his hands folded in front of his body. His wife, who sat in the
front row, began to weep immediately after the first verdict was
"She's taking it very hard, as you can understand,'' Chen's
attorney Alan Dressler said. "Although I respect the jury's
verdict, I disagree with it.''
Chen, who moved to the United States from Shanghai in 2000, taught
piano to the girl for three years, beginning when she was 8. During
that time period, Chen said, he was teaching about 30 students.
Chen went to the girl's Menlo Park home once a week for the piano
lessons, and, about a month after the lessons began in 2001, he
began fondling the girl under her clothing.
"This is not a girl who lies or makes up stories. She is
an honest person,'' prosecutor Melissa McKowan said during closing
arguments. "She was being molested. She was being lewdly,
cruelly and repeatedly touched. She didn't know what to say. She
didn't know what to do.''
Dressler argued that the young girl made up the story to get
out of having to take piano lessons. However, several jurors said
that the girl's compelling testimony and the rest of the evidence
led them to convict Chen.
"We talked about it. We listed all the possible reasons
for us not to believe Jane Doe and none of them seemed reasonable,''
juror Chris Mindnich said.
Neither the girl nor her parents, who also testified at the trial,
were present in Judge Stephen Hall's courtroom today.
Chen, who had been out of custody on a $1 million property bond,
was immediately taken into custody following the reading of the
He faces more than 100 years in prison when he is sentenced on
May 5 at 8:45 a.m.
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.