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Popular Violin Coach Signs Plea Deal in Molestation Case

Julian Hallmark, a respected and accomplished violinist, is accused of lewd acts and molestation of two young girls.

An accomplished violinist, who coached local children while working for a Santa Monica-based nonprofit, has pleaded no contest to criminal charges in a molestation case involving two young girls. He faces sentencing in February.

Culver City resident Julian Hallmark pleaded no contest to two felony counts of lewd acts on a child, felony attempted lewd acts on a child and a misdemeanor charge of molestation in a deal signed with prosecutors in September. 

His sentencing and probation hearing is scheduled on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Until his arrest Feb. 14, Hallmark worked for Elemental Strings, a small, nonprofit youth orchestra based in Santa Monica. He was hired in September 2011. The alleged acts occurred between Oct. 1, 2011 and Feb. 4 of this year.

Two of the felony charges stem from an incident when he allegedly exposed himself to a 5-year-old and told her to touch his penis, according to court records. In another incident, he allegedly exposed himself again to the girl's friend.

He knew both girls, but neither were his students. Both alleged incidents occurred in his home, according court records. 

Hallmark was terminated immediately following his arrest, according to Elemental Strings Executive and Artistic Director Josephine Liu Moerschel.

A psychologist who evaluated Hallmark said he "seriously doubted" the musician was a "pedophile" and instead called the misconduct "situational and opportunistic." The doctor recommended Hallmark participate in a sex offender treatment program.

Hallmark is a Juilliard School graduate respected by many of his peers and students' parents.

Dozens of affidavits testifying to Hallmark's character were submitted to the court by his colleagues, mentors and students' parents, describing him as not only talented, but also as proper and professional.

"The Julian Hallmark I know is a gifted teacher and a good and ethical man," wrote cello instructor Margaret Edmondson. "Our students and our staff were lucky to have the opportunity to work with him and were deeply saddened when he left."

Edmondson said she would trust Hallmark "without reservations to work with students of all ages."

A staff biography on the Elemental Strings website described Hallmark as a sought-after chamber musician who traveled the globe. He was identified as a co-founder of the Concertante Chamber Players based in New York and has been concertmaster for the Aspen Valley Chamber Orchestra in Colorado for 11 years. He also performed regularly with the Crown City String Quartet in Bend, OR.

Elemental Strings was founded 2004 to inspire students and support the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s elementary school music program, according to its website.

Liz Selzer-Lang December 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM
This guy should never again be allowed to teach (or spend time alone with) young children. I am truly shocked, but sadly not surprised, by those who continue to endorse him. Perpetrators groom children, yes, but they are also accomplished at charming and disarming parents.
Glenn E Grab December 11, 2012 at 05:04 PM
one last comment.....Julian and his lawyer are smart, making a plea deal instead of going to trial.....Many of us LA musicians knew another violinist who was involved sexually with a 12 year old girl he was teaching,,,,he was offered a plea deal, but he turned it down, choosing to go to trial....he ended up getting 17 years instead of the seven years they offered him....also, prison is not a great environment for child molesters(they're called "short eyes" by the other prisoners and have to be kept out of the general population, for their own safety.....ironic, at that point they probably feel the fear their young victims felt)....like they say, turnabout's fair play....
moonshaker December 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Electric chair if it was up tome.
Candy Wood January 29, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Hello All, If we stick to the facts, Mr. Julian Hallmark is being charged with a crime period! The two little girls in question are so young, most likely not to make up stories. These are allegations and the truth might not never come out being that Mr. Hallmark is an adult and I doubt if he's going to incrimination himself without hard core evidence. You can be rich or poor, educated, have good morals, remarkable skills, good sense of character and be a sex issues. Sex offenders come in all races, they do come rich or poor, they can be judges, THEY ARE OUT THERE, BE AWARE and CAREFUL.
Glenn E Grab January 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM
candy, on feb 13 there is a court decision being announced

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