Former Rice University music teacher accused of molesting a child during a lesson

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Rice music instructor accused of indecency with a child, Kevin Quinn reports.

A former music teacher at Rice University is accused of inappropriately touching one of his young students.

According to court documents, the girl is younger than 14 years old. She was taking piano lessons from him at his home in west Houston.

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

Court records allege the assault happened on May 22 when the girl's mother stepped outside for a few minutes to take a phone call. When the girl later went out to the car with her mother, she was upset and told her she wanted a new music teacher, and then told her mother what happened.

The girl later told police Pawlas had touched her previously over her clothing. She said one time he "put her hand on his thigh."

Police say Pawlas teaches about 40 piano students from first grade to 12th. He had been teaching the young girl, who made the outcry, for about three years. Neighbors are just learning of his arrest.

"He's not like that kind of person I think," said neighbor Baiqiu Xia.

"I am in shock," added Pwlas' neighbor and friend Richard Morua.

Authorities say when confronted by police Pawlas at first said the girl was a good student and that he was "surprised" by the claim. Court documents indicate he later admitted touching the girl inappropriately.

When asked by investigators why he didn't admit anything previously, he allegedly told police he, "was not ready (to tell) them."

Rice University confirms Pawlas was a music teacher in the Shepherd School of Music's "Temporary Preparatory" program. A spokesperson for the university says Pawlas is not a current employee.

Police say Pawlas told them he is legally blind. He is in custody at the Harris County jail. His bond is set at $30,000.

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