Social media helped Bloomington Police put a man behind bars - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Social media helped Bloomington Police put a man behind bars

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Aaron Parlier Aaron Parlier

The revelation that there may be more local victims claiming they were abused at the hands of their piano teacher has become a reality for some in the Bloomington area.

Bloomington Police say there are now at least three minors who have come forward alleging 36-year-old Aaron Parlier sexually abused them. 

Officer Elias Mendiola, spokesperson for BPD, explained the department was aware Parlier taught several individuals throughout the Bloomington/Normal area. 

It's a fact that caused them to examine if there could be other victims.

Mendiola credits two social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, for helping them strengthen their case and gathering additional evidence about the piano teacher.

"At least one additional victim that we know for certain came from the social media share." he confirmed. 

Police are assisted by the YWCA 'Stepping Stone' program in the majority of cases that involve victims of sexual abuse.

"Stepping Stone is the rape crisis center in McLean County. We offer services for survivors of sexual assault. We have counseling services. We do advocacy both medical and legal advocacy. We have a 24/7 hotline run through PATH." explained YWCA Director of Community Outreach Gabe Cripe. He also shared that it's the only one of it's kind in the county.

Cripe called the Parlier situation heartbreaking and added that it serves as a reminder to educate kids early about good touches and bad touches.  "We work with students in the schools as early as preschool and the message we are giving them is nobody has the right to touch you."

A McLean County mom picking her daughter up from the YWCA stopped to tell 25 News that she finds it difficult to know who to trust around her 5-year old daughter.

"As a parent I feel obligated to actually educate her on what kind of behaviors could seem potentially dangerous and I was seriously considering self defense classes for myself and for her." said Olga Cochran. 

Mendiola offered some advice for parents like Cochran who may be struggling to determine who is responsible enough to be around their children.

He says watch out for other adults who not only seem to be grooming your child, but turn their attention and praise to you, in an attempt to win you over.

He says this is a classic pattern with sexual predators.

Aaron Parlier remains in jail until his next court hearing.

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