Famous Bay Area pianist acquitted of six of seven molestation charges

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Prominent Bay Area ragtime pianist Frederick Hodges was found innocent Tuesday of six of seven charges of child molestation stemming from 2007.

Hodges was acquitted of four counts of committing lewd acts with a child under the age of 14, one count of oral copulation with a child under 14 and one count of possession of child pornography, according to Bay City News. Jurors were deadlocked seven to five in favor of acquitting him of another charge of committing lewd acts with a child under the age of 14.

According to Bay City News, Hodges has been under investigation by Oakland police since 2009, when a boy came forward and claimed he was molested by Hodges in 2007. The alleged incidents occurred in Berkeley, Oakland and Walnut Creek homes and involved two boys, according to Bay City News.

Defense attorney Patrick Clancy argued that Hodges should be acquitted of all charges because the prosecution’s evidence is based on interviews with alleged victims who Clancy said may have been subjected to unfair questioning techniques by police, according to Bay City News. Clancy said Hodges touched both boys but not in a sexual way, Bay City News reports.

Clancy said Hodges “had no sexual intent,” according to Bay City News.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is expected to say whether it will pursue a retrial for the deadlocked charge in court April 25, according to Bay City News.

According to Bay City News, Clancy said he hopes the office will not retry the remaining charge.

Sarah Burns is the assistant city news editor.