Music Fest ‘concerned’ about sex allegations
The Aspen Music Festival and School on Thursday reacted to news that a member of its faculty stands accused of making sexual advances toward and trying to buy alcohol for a student. “The Aspen Music Festival and School takes the well-being of its students extremely seriously and has strict policies in place about underage drinking, sexual harassment, and faculty-student relationships,” AMFS President and CEO Don Roth said in a prepared statement. “We were very concerned to hear of these recent allegations and are cooperating with and following the police investigation closely.”William John Nauman, 42, was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, for attempting to provide alcohol to a juvenile. Both are felonies. According to the affidavit for Nauman’s arrest, a 17-year-old piano student told police he was finished studying at the Aspen Music Festival and School for the summer and was staying with Nauman to prepare for an upcoming concert. The boy said Nauman took him into a number of Aspen bars and offered to buy him drinks. He also said Nauman made him feel uncomfortable by telling him how attractive he was and kissing and hugging him frequently.While music festival officials would not speak specifically about Nauman because it is a personnel matter, they did confirm on Thursday that Nauman was an independent contractor with the AMFS for seven summers, and has completed his contract for 2004.The Aspen Music Festival and School has policies in place about sexual harassment and consensual relationships between students and faculty members that are distributed every year to all faculty members. The festival does not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind, and no faculty member is allowed to have a sexual or romantic relationship with any student whom he or she is teaching or coaching at the school.”Such relationships may adversely affect the teacher/student relationship and give rise to conflicts between personal and professional interests,” the policy reads.In his prepared statement, Roth continued, “We will conduct any additional investigation necessary to obtain full and complete information on the situation, and once we have that, will take appropriate action.”Also on Thursday, Nauman was granted permission to leave Colorado until his first court appearance on Sept. 13. But he must comply with the following conditions: Nauman must reside with his parents in Baltimore, Md.; he must have no communication with anyone, except his attorney, regarding the alleged victim; he must have no contact with any person under the age of 18, or the alleged victim or the alleged victim’s family; and he must sign waivers of extradition for this case and a traffic case that dates to last summer.Nauman’s attorney, Lauren Wolpin of Aspen, was with Nauman at the Pitkin County Courthouse Thursday afternoon, waiting for Nauman’s bond conditions to be amended by the judge.”We’ll have no comment,” she said for herself and Nauman when asked to respond about the allegations.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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