School Music Teacher Commits Suicide Before Sexual Abuse Trial, Former Students Say He Was Evading Justice

| by Nathaly Pesantez

The apparent suicide of Chris Ling, a violin teacher who was to be extradited to the United Kingdom from the United States to face sexual abuse charges against him, has many of his former students and alleged victims angry, saying justice was not served. 

"I'm angry and annoyed, but I must admit that I'm also relieved that I don't have to go to court," a musician and former student of Ling's said to  The Guardian. 

She added: "This is Ling's final abuse of power. He was such a controlling person. Even his final gesture was controlling, in his own way. To me it's like he was saying: 'I'm not even going to allow the process to go forward.'"

Police say Chris Ling, 56, shot himself in his Los Angeles home on Tuesday as US marshals were getting ready to arrest him. He was facing 77 charges of sex offenses against 11 former students at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. 

Another student was still figuring out what to make of the news. 

"I did want him to face a jury and justice, and yes, this outcome proves he was aware of his crimes, but it doesn't feel enough. I was scared and dreading court, but I felt it was the right thing to do."

The accusations come from Ling's time as a teacher in the 1980s, where some of his accusers allege that he forced them to strip naked during lessons, or spank their bottoms, according to Manchester Evening News.

In 1990, he left the school and settled in Los Angeles, where he became a show business manager.

A third student said a discussion with the school on its inability to protect its students is desperately needed. 

"I feel angered that there will be no trial now, but mildly relieved also. I would really like those of us who want to, to meet with the staff involved with out 'care' at the time and ask some very pertinent questions," she said. 

Chetham's School of Music released a statement after the incident:

"The nature of the historical allegations and this latest development are profoundly disturbing. We cannot comment further."

Sources: The Guardian, Manchester Evening News

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