Orange County piano teacher arrested for lewd acts with a child

Victim was a female music student

SANTA ANA, Calif. — An Orange County piano teacher is being held on $500,000 bail after a probe by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF), including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), revealed he allegedly molested one of his underage students.

John Mordecai Scott, 58, of Lake Forest, was taken into custody Friday by HSI special agents and Orange County sheriff's deputies on a state charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Specifically, Scott is suspected of showing and taking lewd photographs of a minor female victim at his residence and place of employment. His arraignment in Orange County Superior Court is set for Aug. 12.

Scott worked as a piano teacher out of his Lake Forest home on El Toro Road. He also taught at Coast Band Music in Mission Viejo and at OC Music in Rancho Santa Margarita. During the course of the probe, which is ongoing, investigators uncovered evidence indicating there may be additional victims. Anyone with information that may be relevant to this case is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department at 714-647-7418 or 714-647-7000.

The OCCETF is made up of multiple agencies, including HSI; the Orange County Sheriff's Department; the FBI; the Orange County District Attorney's Office; the Newport Beach and Huntington Beach police departments; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The Task Force focuses on investigating Internet-related crimes against children as well as violations involving the possession, production and distribution of child pornography.

HSI's participation in this case is part of Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.