Md. man convicted of sexually abusing former piano student

WASHINGTON — A Maryland man has been convicted of sexually abusing a teenager he met while giving her piano lessons at a D.C. music store in 2011.

Mark Chuvala, 41, of Berlin, Maryland, was convicted on multiple charges, including three counts each of first- and second-degree child sexual abuse, on Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court. He’ll be sentenced April 6. He had already pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree child sexual abuse in Montgomery County; he’ll be sentenced there Feb. 15.

Prosecutors said Chuvala was 34 when he began giving piano lessons to a 13-year-old girl at Middle C Music, in the Tenleytown section of Northwest, in 2011. He asked the teenager to stay in touch, the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Shortly thereafter, the two had sexual encounters in D.C. and one in Montgomery County, and continued to text each other regularly, the prosecutors said. When Chuvala left the area, they had sexual encounters over Skype.

The girl told a friend about the encounters in 2012, and the friend told a school counselor, but the victim didn’t want to go forward with the investigation, prosecutors said. She decided to press charges in 2014; Chuvala was arrested in June 2015.

Chuvala was also convicted Tuesday of one count of indecent sexual proposal to a minor, one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child and one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance.

Whatever he’s sentenced to, Chuvala will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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