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Music teacher accused of molesting boy in Palm Beach Gardens

Posted at 3:54 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 13:45:01-05

A Palm Beach Gardens music teacher is under arrest following allegations he molested a young boy several times.

Terrence Dwarika, 38, is accused of inappropriately touching the boy at a home, a music room and a school bathroom, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police arrest report. The name of the school is scratched from the report because it is the location of a sex crime. However, the school later issued a statement promising full cooperation in the police investigation.

Officers arrested Dwarika Sunday and took him to the Palm Beach County Jail. He appeared before a judge Monday morning and was ordered to avoid contact with the victim or his family.

The boy’s mother initially went to police on Dec. 27 after the boy and his brother said Dwarika went into a bedroom alone with the boy, according to an arrest report. She told police Dwarika had offered to take them to the Gardens Mall to buy them a Christmas present but instead took them to a house without her permission.

The mother said her sons took private lessons from Terrence Dwarika as an after-school activity for the past three years.

She said she asked the boys about their day after Dwarika dropped them off. The brother said Dwarika told him to play on his tablet while Dwarika went into the bedroom with the other boy.

The boy said Dwarika touched him inappropriately, then asked the boy to keep it a secret and not tell his mother.

When his mother asked him more about it, the boy said Dwarika also molested him “in the music room” and bathroom at the school, records show. 

When officers confronted Dwarika, they say he admitted to contact with the boy but not molesting him.

Dwarika is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bond. He was also ordered to have no contact anyone under the age of 18.

Terrence Dwarika, Trinity UMC’s pianist and artist in residence, was arrested Sunday for lewd and lascivious conduct and molesting a minor less than 12 years old.

We will fully cooperate with the police in this investigation. Trinity UMC considers nothing more sacred than the safety, protection and care of our children. We have a comprehensive Child and Youth Protection policy in place, and we strive to adhere to those guidelines.

We are keeping all those affected by this in our prayers. We pray that healing and love for all involved will bring the grace and power of God into this situation, and that we as the family of God may continue to fulfill His purpose for us.

-Gretchen Hastings, director of communications of the Florida Conference UMC