HUNTSVILLE — An Oneida piano instructor was indicted last week in a child sex abuse case involving multiple victims.
Mischa Knight Claiborne, 22, was named by a Scott County grand jury in a lengthy indictment alleging sex abuse dating back to 2015 and continuing through December 2018, when an investigation began.
Claiborne is a piano player and provides private music lessons in his home.
Little information was available about the allegations involving Claiborne. The indictment leading to his arrest was unsealed; however, the details of the charges within were ordered sealed. He will be arraigned on the 16 felony charges he faces in Scott County Criminal Court on April 1.
Those allegations triggered a 15-week investigation by the Department of Children’s Services and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Children’s Center of the Cumberlands, that eventually led to last week’s indictment.
Claiborne was charged with one count of rape, nine counts of sexual battery, four counts of aggravated sexual battery, one count of solicitation of a minor and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Allegedly, the case against Claiborne involves at least three victims under the age of 18, at least one of which was younger than 13.
The charges levied by the grand jury indicate that much of the alleged abuse took place during the 2015 calendar year. There were no allegations in the years 2016 and 2017. However, a victim was allegedly abused in 2018, just before the investigation began.
It was not known whether the victims were connected or were randomly targeted. The victims’ identities were sealed, and the Independent Herald’s policy is to not identify victims, especially when they are minors. Investigators at the Scott County Sheriff’s Department declined comment, citing the sealed nature of the indictment. The Department of Children’s Services is bound by privacy. However, sources said Claiborne allegedly knew the victims through attending church with them at Black Oak Baptist Church, where he is a former piano player. The inappropriate contact between Claiborne and the children occurred inside his home, where he was giving private music lessons, as well as at least one incidence inside the church, according to sources, who also said the church contacted authorities upon learning of the alleged misconduct.
The alleged misconduct began between April 2015 and June 2015, according to the indictment, and involved at least three children that year. Most of the specific charges levied against Claiborne involve allegations of inappropriate touching. However, one incidence of rape is alleged to have occurred during that same three-month timeframe. There is also an accusation of solicitation of a minor between June and August 2015, in which Claiborne allegedly solicited sex from a child younger than the age of 13.
The most serious of the charges lodged against Claiborne, continuous sex abuse of a child, a Class A felony, alleges that he “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly engage(d) in at least one incident of sexual abuse of a child upon three or more different minor children . . . on separate occasions over a period of 90 days or more in duration,” between April and December 2015.
After December 2015, no abuse is alleged until the period of November-December 2018, which is apparently what prompted the start of the investigation.