Indian American musician charged with molesting a minor

May 29th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by admin  


New York, May 29 (IANS) Shafatullah Khan, a well-known Indian classical musician living in the US, has been charged with molesting a 14-year-old student. India-born Shafatullah, 42, lives and teaches music in Pennsylvania. He has been charged with multiple counts of corruption of a minor, indecent assault and related offences, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

The victim, now 16, said in court Tuesday that she took private keyboard lessons at Shafatullah’s home and that he molested her in 2006 and 2007.

The judge ordered Shafatullah to surrender his passport and stop giving lessons to minors. Shafatullah, a US citizen since 1995, is the son of Imrat Khan, musician brother of the famous sitar maestro Vilayat Khan.

Shafatullah plays sitar, surbahar and tabla and teaches Indian classical music on many instruments. He is featured in at least 16 CDs and has played in concerts throughout the world.

Shafatullah has conducted workshops and demonstrations at universities across the US. Each spring, he performs for students in a world-music course at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. He was an artiste-in-residence at the college in 1999 and 2000.

In her complaint, the girl said that once, when she mentioned to Shafatullah that her back hurt, he gave her a massage. As her lessons continued, the massages went further, and once he asked her to take off her clothes and touched her breasts, she said.

The girl said she told Shafatullah in February 2007 to stop touching her and he complied. She did not tell her parents about her allegations until a year later. After she did, she provided police with e-mails confiding the incidents to friends.

Shafatullah’s attorney Vincent DiFabio said his client would be exonerated in the trial.

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