Music teacher accused of molesting 13-year-old

Posted at 1:07 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 19:04:34-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A 48-year-old West Palm Beach music teacher is accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl this past weekend.

Derrick Houston, a West Palm Beach resident, is charged with lewd and lascivious behavior.
The victim told police he inappropriately touched her during singing lessons on Saturday.

She reported the alleged crime to police on Saturday, not long after it happened.

During a recorded phone call with West Palm Beach police detectives, the victim called Houston and confronted him about what he did.

Police say Houston said, "I'm sorry for any of this and that's from the bottom of my heart."

Detectives add that Houston asked the victim if she told her mother and she told him that she didn't.

Houston promised the victim he would never do anything inappropriate again.
When detectives approached Houston about the accusations, he denied any wrongdoing.

Palm Beach County Jail records indicate Houston was arrested at 11:56 p.m. Saturday.

Houston taught music lessons at OnBeat Studios in West Palm Beach.

Owner, Oscar Zayas, said Houston rented a room in the studio for several years.

"I don't let just anyone rent my rooms. These are people I know and trust," Oscar said.

Oscar has been friends with Houston for nearly two decades.

"He's a good person. He's been a good friend for many years," Oscar said.

He added that he was in shock about the accusations against his friend.

"I still can't believe the charges. I've been in business for over 16 years. This is the first crazy thing to ever happen like this," Oscar said.

Oscar said that Houston has taught many other music lessons at the studio.

If your child has had lessons with Houston, and you fear they may be a victim, there are signs they may be showing at home.

Dr. Rachel Needle is a clinical psychologist. She said girls are more likely to come forward when sexually assaulted than boys.

"When children are sexually abused, some of the signs they display are changes in behavior, changes in mood, eating habits, sleep, difficulty controlling their emotions," she said.

She added that if you worry your child was assaulted, ask open-ended questions and stay calm.

If you show anger, the child may feel as if what happened to them was their fault, she said.

If your child is a victim and feels comfortable, Dr. Needle urges parents to go to law enforcement with the information.

She also urges abuse victims to seek counseling as soon as possible, to help minimize the damage going forward in life.