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Voice Teacher Accused in Sex Case

Crime: Authorities say the Irvine businessman repeatedly molested a youth he met through boys chorus. He is free on bail and has resigned from the group.

September 25, 2002|CHRISTINE HANLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An Irvine businessman and vocal teacher with the Orange County-based All-American Boys Chorus has been charged with repeatedly molesting a boy he met in the group.

Roger A. Giese, 27, is accused of molesting a Buena Park teenager from May 1998--when the boy was 13--to May 2002. Giese was released on $200,000 bail after his arrest Friday and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 18. On Tuesday he resigned from the chorus.

Giese is a senior account executive at Rankin Group Ltd., an Irvine advertising and public relations firm. He did not return a phone message left with his secretary. His attorney, Ron Bower, said his client resigned because "he wants no one to feel uncomfortable in that organization while he's being cleared of the charges."

Anthony Manrique, executive director of the boys chorus, declined to discuss the case.

"To the best of our knowledge at this point, the allegations against Roger Giese [are] in no way connected to boys chorus' activities or facilities," Manrique said. Authorities on Tuesday did not say when the alleged victim left the group, which is open to boys ages 8 to 15.

Bower said Giese has been affiliated with the chorus for nine years. During his first two years, he worked full-time, serving multiple roles as director of communications, voice instructor and concert production manager. He has served as a part-time voice instructor for the last two years, Bower said.

Giese met the boy through the chorus and became friends with the teen's family, giving him private lessons at the youth's Buena Park home, Bower said. It was Giese's policy, his attorney added, to "have an adult present at any time he's giving lessons to minor children."

The allegations come about eight years after the boys chorus and the Diocese of Orange settled molestation allegations filed against the Rev. Richard T. Coughlin, who founded the chorus as an Anaheim parish youth project in 1970. The boys chorus is an independent nonprofit group unaffiliated with the diocese.

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