Attorney suggests sex assault allegations against school band director were made up

Published: Nov. 12, 2017 at 4:31 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2017 at 3:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An attorney for the former private school band director charged with multiple counts of sexually assault a minor says his client denies all the allegations him.

Peter Rucci, 61, made his first court appearance Wednesday and is set to plead not guilty at an arraignment later this year.

On Wednesday afternoon, an indictment was filed in the case, charging Rucci with nine counts of sex assault in the first and third degree.

The indictment says the victim was between the ages of 14 and 16, and that the alleged assaults happened around June.

Rucci was the former band director at Damien Memorial School and had also worked as a substitute teacher and band director at Le Jardin Academy. He was fired from Damien after his arrest last week.

Defense attorney Victor Bakke said his client denies the allegations against him.

"It's sad, actually. We're in a time period right now where anybody who wants to get rid of a teacher or anybody that's bothering them, they can," Bakke said. "They can just file a sex assault claim."

Experts have noted that the rate of false allegations in sex assault cases is low.

Bakke said his client has gotten no information about the allegations, including whether the victim is a boy or girl.

Rucci was released Saturday after posting $150,000 bail.

This story will be updated.

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