SHERMAN OAKS—Former violin teacher Christopher Ling shot himself at his house in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday, September 1 as U.S. Marshals attempted to serve a warrant for his arrest and extradition to Great Britain in relation to a high-profile child molestation case.
Ling, 56, was found dead in the bathroom of his home around 6 a.m., soon after a team of officers arrived at his doorstep, said Laura Vega of the U.S. Marshals Service.
An ongoing two-year case has been built against Ling by Great Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service as 11 victims, who at the time were between the ages 9 and 15, have come forward and delivered abuse statements to the Greater Manchester police (GMP). The majority of the women were Ling’s former pupils at the Chetham’s school of music in Manchester, England in the 1980s. The outside victim was a young girl who cleaned his house.
Ling allegedly coerced his ex-pupils into playing naked and further manipulated them by engaging in sexual acts and painfully spanking their behinds.
British authorities sought extradition assistance from the U.S. State Department beginning 15 months ago in 2014, after Ling refused to return to Britain for questioning and ignored two warrants from a district judge. The U.S. finally agreed to aiding the Crown Prosecution Services several weeks back, in the course to bring Ling to justice.
Once extradited, Ling was scheduled to be charged with 72 counts of sex offenses.
Ling relocated to Los Angeles in 1990, where he started his own business called CHL Artists Inc., which is “the preeminent classical artist management company on the west coast of the United States, representing some of the most exciting, individual and dynamic soloists and conductors throughout North America today,” according to its website description.
Initial sexual abuse claims were raised against Ling in 1990, but authorities never moved forward with the case because he had already left the country with his young wife, Pip Clarke, who was also a pupil of his from Chetham’s, according to The Guardian.
Accusations against Ling, however, resurfaced in 2013 after the trial and conviction of Michael Brewer, the former director of music at Chetham’s. Brewer was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexually abusing his pupil, Frances Andrade, between 1978 and 1982. She was between the ages of 14 and 18 at the time.
After testifying against Brewer in court, Andrade, 48, killed herself a week later at her home in Surrey. Her death was the incentive for dozens of women to come forward against Christopher Ling and share their stories.
The victims who expected to see their childhood abuser, Ling, in person at court shared their mixed emotions of disappointment and relief with the Guardian.
“I can’t believe he’s dead. I’m glad he can’t get anyone now. But he’ll never have to answer to any of this in court. I now feel very strongly that the school needs to answer for what happened,” says an ex-pupil.
Ling’s victims, many of whom now feeling cheated, will look into proceeding towards civil action against the school.
Chetham’s released a statement in light of the recent events: “The nature of the historic allegations and this latest development are profoundly disturbing. We cannot comment further.”
During the time that he was avoiding sexual abuse charges, Christopher Ling lived an esteemed life in Sherman Oaks with his wife and daughter.