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Former Rice University instructor accused of fondling girl during piano lesson heads to court

HOUSTON – A former Rice University instructor accused of molesting an underage girl during her piano lesson earlier this year appeared in court Monday.

Dariusz Pawlas, 50, is charged with indecency with a child.

According to court documents, the mother told police that she took her daughter, 11, to 50-year-old Dariusz Pawlas' home in May for a piano lesson. During the lesson, the mother stepped outside to make a phone call. When the lesson was over, the girl came outside crying. She told her mother that she wanted a new teacher. When the mother asked why, she said that her teacher had been touching her and he put his hand inside her pants, court documents said.

The girl told investigators that Pawlas also touched her buttocks and her leg during her lesson, according to court documents.

Pawlas was interviewed by police after he returned from an overseas trip during the summer, according to the documents. He originally denied touching the girl, but later admitted to touching her privates.

According to the documents, Pawlas said he taught about 40 students at his home because he is legally blind.

VIDEO: Former Rice University instructor appears in court

Investigators determined that Pawlas' students ranged from first-graders to high school seniors, but he said he didn’t touch any of his other students, according to the documents.

In court Monday, a no-contact order was requested by the state. The state asked that Pawlas not be allowed to contact the alleged victim or anyone younger than the age of 17, including students taking lessons from him.

Pawlas's attorney argued that students contacted him in hopes of continuing lessons. The judge granted the no-contact order. 

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