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Popular Violin Coach Signs Plea Deal in Molestation Case

Julian Hallmark, a respected and accomplished violinist, is accused of lewd acts and molestation of two young girls.

An accomplished violinist, who coached local children while working for a Santa Monica-based nonprofit, has pleaded no contest to criminal charges in a molestation case involving two young girls. He faces sentencing in February.

Culver City resident Julian Hallmark pleaded no contest to two felony counts of lewd acts on a child, felony attempted lewd acts on a child and a misdemeanor charge of molestation in a deal signed with prosecutors in September. 

His sentencing and probation hearing is scheduled on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Until his arrest Feb. 14, Hallmark worked for Elemental Strings, a small, nonprofit youth orchestra based in Santa Monica. He was hired in September 2011. The alleged acts occurred between Oct. 1, 2011 and Feb. 4 of this year.

Two of the felony charges stem from an incident when he allegedly exposed himself to a 5-year-old and told her to touch his penis, according to court records. In another incident, he allegedly exposed himself again to the girl's friend.

He knew both girls, but neither were his students. Both alleged incidents occurred in his home, according court records. 

Hallmark was terminated immediately following his arrest, according to Elemental Strings Executive and Artistic Director Josephine Liu Moerschel.

A psychologist who evaluated Hallmark said he "seriously doubted" the musician was a "pedophile" and instead called the misconduct "situational and opportunistic." The doctor recommended Hallmark participate in a sex offender treatment program.

Hallmark is a Juilliard School graduate respected by many of his peers and students' parents.

Dozens of affidavits testifying to Hallmark's character were submitted to the court by his colleagues, mentors and students' parents, describing him as not only talented, but also as proper and professional.

"The Julian Hallmark I know is a gifted teacher and a good and ethical man," wrote cello instructor Margaret Edmondson. "Our students and our staff were lucky to have the opportunity to work with him and were deeply saddened when he left."

Edmondson said she would trust Hallmark "without reservations to work with students of all ages."

A staff biography on the Elemental Strings website described Hallmark as a sought-after chamber musician who traveled the globe. He was identified as a co-founder of the Concertante Chamber Players based in New York and has been concertmaster for the Aspen Valley Chamber Orchestra in Colorado for 11 years. He also performed regularly with the Crown City String Quartet in Bend, OR.

Elemental Strings was founded 2004 to inspire students and support the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s elementary school music program, according to its website.

Glenn E Grab December 05, 2012 at 04:11 PM
who the heck is this"psychologist who evaluated Hallmark" who"seriously doubted" that he was a "pedophile"?......What else do you call someone who exposes himself to a 5 year old girl and tries to get her to touch his penis?......I have a 6 year old grandaughter, and if he had done this to her there would have been no need for a trial or a plea bargain...
Glenn E Grab December 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM
PS, I knew Julian and I'm a collegue of Margaret Edmondson.....I have the utmost respect for her as a person and a musician, but she's letting her emotions get in the way of rationality......does anyone actually think this was the first time that this happened?....how about the victims?....don't they deserve some consideration?... Maggie, what if this had been your kid, or a family member's child?....
TD December 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Anyone who defends a person involved an ANY kind of behavior of this nature under ANY conditions has obviosly no experience with pedophiles and rapists. This man is testing the limits and has a serious problem. I feel sorry for the girls who had to experience this at such a young age and any future gilrs he may prey on. The easier his sentence for these crimes the more likley he will do again and go even further next time. He should NOT be allowed to work with or around children ever again.
Caliman December 05, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Glenn, Thank you for hitting this one out of the park for all of us in rational land. Mr. Hallmarks actions are those of a pedophile, it wasn't a one off deal as he exposed himself to 2 young girls. How many more might their have been or will be? And his associate defends him to work with other children? Can anyone say Boy Scouts, Catholic Church..... And finally someone might want to take a closer look at the shrink who evaluated Mr. Hallmark. Situational and opportunistic people who expose themselves to children (plural) are pedophiles and should be jailed and/or hospitalized.
Marie Cunningham December 05, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Wow...
Betsy Katz December 05, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I'm so proud of those young girls who had the courage to tell. It doesn't matter how many affidavits are submitted attesting to his professional and ethical behavior. I believe the children. The psychologist who evaluated this pedophile and determined that it was just situational and opportunistic misconduct needs to find something else to do for a living. And the cello instructor who would trust him without reservation to work with students of all ages needs some education. Pedophiles work very hard to gain trust and respect from their peers (and the parents of the children) , and to get jobs ("situations") that allow them access to children -- that's how they get the "opportunity" to perpetrate their "misconduct."
Glenn E Grab December 06, 2012 at 12:32 AM
where did this "psychologist" get his or her degree, "Pedophile University"?...
Kevin Kooiker December 06, 2012 at 05:22 AM
I'm going to guess that this psychologist was hired by Hallmark's attorney, not by the prosecuter or the court.
Roger E. Keller December 06, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Who paid the psychologist? Hallmark? How in the world does someone come to doubt that Hallmark's a pedophile after his actions? That shrink should be censured by whatever board licences and regulates them.
Glenn E Grab December 06, 2012 at 04:51 PM
where is he now?....still in LA County Jail?.....I thought he had a million dollar bail keeping him there....
Glenn E Grab December 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Roger, you're right....this doesn't speak well for anyone who's a psychologist...
Liz Selzer-Lang December 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM
This guy should never again be allowed to teach (or spend time alone with) young children. I am truly shocked, but sadly not surprised, by those who continue to endorse him. Perpetrators groom children, yes, but they are also accomplished at charming and disarming parents.
Glenn E Grab December 11, 2012 at 05:04 PM
one last comment.....Julian and his lawyer are smart, making a plea deal instead of going to trial.....Many of us LA musicians knew another violinist who was involved sexually with a 12 year old girl he was teaching,,,,he was offered a plea deal, but he turned it down, choosing to go to trial....he ended up getting 17 years instead of the seven years they offered him....also, prison is not a great environment for child molesters(they're called "short eyes" by the other prisoners and have to be kept out of the general population, for their own safety.....ironic, at that point they probably feel the fear their young victims felt)....like they say, turnabout's fair play....
moonshaker December 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Electric chair if it was up tome.
Candy Wood January 29, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Hello All, If we stick to the facts, Mr. Julian Hallmark is being charged with a crime period! The two little girls in question are so young, most likely not to make up stories. These are allegations and the truth might not never come out being that Mr. Hallmark is an adult and I doubt if he's going to incrimination himself without hard core evidence. You can be rich or poor, educated, have good morals, remarkable skills, good sense of character and be a sex issues. Sex offenders come in all races, they do come rich or poor, they can be judges, THEY ARE OUT THERE, BE AWARE and CAREFUL.
Glenn E Grab January 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM
candy, on feb 13 there is a court decision being announced

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