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Ex-Honolulu band teacher sentenced in sex assault of teen

January 8, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — A former band teacher at a Honolulu private school who was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail.

Peter Rucci, 63, pleaded guilty in October to charges of second- and third-degree sexual assault, Hawaii News Now reported .

The victim, who was 15 when the assault occurred in June 2017, gave a statement to the court.

“He was a phenomenal mentor, and he wreaked havoc on my life,” the victim said. “It’s a miracle that I had the strength to get this far.”

The victim’s mother also addressed the court.

“She has been derailed. Her course has been changed. She was very courageous to make Rucci’s crimes public,” the victim’s mother said.

Rucci declined to speak in court Monday.

He was initially charged with nine sexual-assault counts. The other counts were dropped after he reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Rucci became band director at Damien Memorial School in August 2017. He was fired in November 2017 when the allegations surfaced.

The assault happened before he was employed, and it did not involve any Damien students, school officials said.

Rucci previously taught at Honolulu Waldorf School and at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua.

Rucci will be on probation for five years. He must also register as a sex offender and take part in the state’s sex offender treatment program.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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