BLOOMINGTON — A jury should not hear evidence collected by police in their investigation of rape accusations involving a piano teacher, his lawyer argues in a motion questioning the legality of several search warrants.

Bloomington police began their investigation into alleged misconduct by the 37-year-old Pekin man in September 2017 after a teenage girl told authorities about her experience as Parlier's student. The girl started lessons when she was about 6 and continued until adolescence, according to an application for a search warrant affidavit filed by Bloomington police Detective John Heinlen.

"As she got older, on several occasions suspect Parlier had her play naked because he said it would help her with her stage fright before concerts," Heinlen wrote in a January 2018 search warrant request.

A search of two residences — one in Mackinaw and one in Bloomington where Parlier may have lived prior to his arrest — followed the detective's interview of Parlier on Dec. 5, 2017. Parlier admitted to an ongoing sexual relationship with a former student and to sending sexually explicit photos to a minor, according to the officer's statements filed in court.     

Parlier's lawyer, Gal Pissetzky, argues the information provided to authorities should not be used because the four- to seven-year gap between the alleged misconduct and its disclosure makes the information stale for legal purposes. The minor's theory that Parlier may have recorded the alleged sexual encounters was not sufficient cause to search his home for potential evidence of recordings, the defense argues.

The search of a vehicle registered to the suspect's brother was illegal, according to the defense motion, because the state failed to show a connection between Parlier and the vehicle found near the location of his surrender to police. The BPD received an anonymous tip that Parlier was driving his brother's car.

In the state's response, Assistant State's Attorney Erika Reynolds argues the staleness claims may apply to drugs or other consumable materials, but not to items seized in the Parlier case, including photos and sexually explicit material found on his computers.

The prosecutor also pointed out that the only case cited by the defense where evidence was suppressed because of staleness was a 1932 decision related to Prohibition. None of the legal authorities cited by Pissetzky are from cases resolved in the current century, Reynolds noted.

Common sense calls for scrutiny of the defense arguments related to a child being asked to take off her clothes for piano lessons — regardless of whether or not she is certain if the sessions were recorded, the state argued in its court filing.

"If the fact that a teacher has a 7th or 8th grader doing anything in the nude in his residence is not enough to suspect the teacher may have acted inappropriately towards the student, the affidavit more than provides the basis for a suspicion that defendant was monitoring (the girl) as she played piano naked at his direction," said the state filing.

It's not uncommon for evidence and information related to sex offenses to be discovered long after the incident; alleged victims wait a significant amount of time in some cases before disclosing allegations of their assault.  

Judge Casey Costigan will hear arguments on the defense motion at a Feb. 8 hearing. Parlier remains in jail on a $1 million bond.

Photos: 2018-19 McLean County jail mugshots



Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.