Music teacher hopes for out-of-court resolution | AspenTimes.com

Music teacher hopes for out-of-court resolution

Chad Abraham

Prosecutors and the high-profile attorney for a concert pianist and Aspen Music Festival and School instructor charged with attempted sexual assault on a child are trying to work out a resolution before the case goes to trial.William John Nauman, 42, allegedly made sexual advances toward a 17-year-old student at the music school who was staying with him last summer. The suspect has hired Denver attorney Pamela Mackey, who defended Kobe Bryant in his sexual assault case.On the other side, new Assistant District Attorney Vince Felletter said Monday he is taking over prosecution of the case from Gail Nichols, deputy district attorney.Nauman, described by the music school as an independent contractor who was employed for seven summers as an instructor, appeared with Mackey at a preliminary hearing in county district court yesterday.His accuser told police in August that he had just finished up his summer session when Nauman offered him a place to stay as the student prepared for a concert. The teen told police that Nauman made sexual advances and tried to buy him alcohol during the three days he stayed at the instructor’s Hunter Creek apartment. Nauman, who was arrested Aug. 19, also faces a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both charges are felonies.In court yesterday, Nauman, wearing a dark suit and tie, sat beside Mackey as she told Judge James Boyd that they were waving the preliminary hearing to keep pretrial negotiations alive.Mackey is the fourth attorney to represent Nauman, who was preparing to leave for the University of Arizona to study for a doctorate in music arts when he was arrested, according to police.The student told police he began to feel uncomfortable while staying with Nauman on the first night. He said Nauman hugged and kissed him repeatedly and that he felt he had to lock his bedroom door when he went to sleep.He said he had one practice lesson with Nauman, but when the instructor allegedly began touching him inappropriately, making lewd comments and offering to buy him alcohol, he left the home.The teenager also claims that Nauman took him out to dinner and to “show him the nightlife in Aspen,” the arrest affidavit says, making him change clothes to try to look older to get into the bars. The young man told police that he and Nauman went to three bars where Nauman repeatedly offered to buy his student drinks; he told police he declined.According to the affidavit, the 17-year-old said that Nauman made a number of comments about finding the student attractive, that he smelled good and that he has a fantasy of raping a young male, but would never do that “because it is illegal.” Police spoke with a woman who works at the Caribou Club, who allegedly confirmed that she had seen Nauman and the student in the establishment.A former piano teacher of the student’s from Denver allegedly told police he had spoken to Nauman several times around the time of the incident.The piano teacher allegedly told police that Nauman called the student “beautiful” and “gorgeous.” Nauman also allegedly told the piano teacher after the student had left his house that he never touched him in the “crotch or genitalia area,” and that if the student defamed him, Nauman was going to “f— with [the student’s] career and keep him from getting into Julliard,” the affidavit says.Mackey refused to comment as she and Nauman walked out of the courtroom Monday.Felletter has taken over for former Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills. Asked about his entrance to the case, he said “with the changeover in people, we wanted to see how we could help Gail out.” The 9th District Attorney’s Office is down a lawyer, Felletter said.Nauman will be arraigned March 7.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com


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