Central Indiana music teacher accused of molestation pleads guilty to lesser charge, avoids jail time

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John Olivera

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – A central Indiana music teacher accused of child molestation will end up spending only two days in jail.

John Olivera,38, walked out of the courtroom waving his toddler’s hand after the judge accepted his plea agreement. Olivera was sentenced to 2 years Wednesday after a judge accepted a plea deal in the case. Of the sentence, 1 year and 363 days of jail time were suspended (Olivera was given credit for two days served). He’ll serve the 2-year sentence on probation.

The plea deal had the support of Olivera’s accuser and her mother, who both asked the court to accept the agreement. The girl, who sat with a teddy bear beside an advocate in court to read her statement, told the court that Olivera destroyed her life and said the ordeal tore apart her family.

“Honestly, this man has ruined my life,” the advocate read off the victim’s statement.

“All of the good memories have been replaced by terror,” the young girl’s statement reflected more than a year of personal turmoil. Both she and her mother gave statements about how their lives and family have been torn apart since the charges were filed.

The victim’s mother called Olivera “manipulative” and “deceptive” when she read her statement. The mother talked about how they moved from their house after her daughter no longer felt safe.

“John Olivera took my daughter’s innocence,” her mother read.

Olivera didn’t make a statement in front of the court Wednesday. He was ordered to have no contact with the girl and can’t hold jobs that involve regular contact with children.

His defense attorney, Stacy Uliana, said she and her client vehemently deny the molestation accusations.

“He pleaded guilty today to a different offense to put this behind him and for the young lady,” Uliana remarked after the sentencing, “it’s a reasonable resolution to a very difficult and emotional case. And we hope she finds the peace she needs to find.”

Olivera was originally charged with three counts of child molestation. In February, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of battery on a person less than 14 years old.

In August 2015, allegations surfaced that Olivera molested a former student. According to court documents, a 12-year-old girl woke up one night to find Olivera touching and fondling her. The incident happened in the summer of 2014. The girl told investigators that Olivera acted like nothing happened the next day. A similar incident happened months later.

The girl’s mother found text messages between her daughter and a juvenile male describing what happened, according to court documents.

Olivera worked as lead instructor and band director at Michele Studio in Fishers. He was also a worship leader at the Life Center in Southport and managing director of Urban Youth Ministry in Indianapolis, according to an online profile. He has denied the molestation allegations.

Olivera has denied the molestation allegations. His attorney said they agreed to plead guilty to battery so that the case could be resolved.