Court told East Lothian music teacher accused of rape and abuse charges nicknamed pupil 'perfect b*m'

A woman fell “completely” under “the spell” of a music teacher who allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted her as a teenager, a court has heard

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 5:48 pm

The witness told jurors that Peter Antonelli started abusing her when he was teaching her how to play the piano in the 1980s.The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Antonelli, 66, taught the woman, who is now aged 52, from when she attended primary school.She said he started touching her inappropriately whilst she played the instrument and used sexualised language in front of her.She said that he called her PB - which stood for Perfect Bum - and took indecent photographs of her which showed her “private parts” and became “aroused”.The witness said he made her perform sex acts on him and got her to go on the pill when she turned 16.She also alleged he used “controlling behaviour” by repeatedly telephoning and following her and described herself as his “victim”.Giving evidence she said: “He completely controlled me. He had an amazing ability to control women.“I was completely under his spell at that point.”The woman was giving evidence on the second day of proceedings against Antonelli of Gullane, in East Lothian, who was made an MBE in 2005 for services to music. He denies charges of sexual assault and other alleged offences.Prosecutors claim that Antonelli abused the woman at locations in East Lothian between August 1978 and December 1987.The woman also told the court that as she got older, Antonelli bought her underwear for the photos he took.She added: “When I look back at the photos, I have dead eyes. I was just resigned to it.”She added: “He was saying he didn’t want to get me pregnant so I should go on the pill.“So I went to the doctor and went on the pill.”The woman said that she developed health problems as a consequence of what was happening with Antonelli and was given beta blockers.She added: “I was anxious. I had lost a lot of weight.”Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC told the woman that it was his client’s position that they had a consensual sexual relationship with each other.But the woman denied this was the case and she said that Antonelli controlled her.She said: “I was absolutely a victim.”Antonelli faces a total of 25 charges, involving 19 allegations of indecent conduct, three of breach of the peace, two indecent assaults and one of rape.The offences are said to have occurred between 1978 and 2005 and to have taken place at four schools in East Lothian, a theatre, a university and other locations.He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and lodged special defences to the indecent assault and rape charges which involve two complainers who were 16 and over at the time.Antonelli maintains it was consensual conduct or that he held an honest belief of consent.The trial, before judge Jamie Gilchrist QC, continues.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Peter Antonelli is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.