Music Teacher Whose Students Performed at Carnegie Hall Charged in Child Sex Acts

Jesus Concepcion, 48, was a celebrated music teacher and student orchestra conductor in New York City

Kipp Academy
Photo: Google Maps

A celebrated former music teacher in New York City reached Carnegie Hall with an orchestra he conducted of young students from a charter middle school.

Between 2000 and 2007, he also allegedly gave four minor students cash, clothes, jewelry and booze and engaged them in illegal sex acts in a school music room, in the rear of a school auditorium, in his car, at motels, at his homes and, after some of the minor victims moved on, at their out-of-state high schools, according to new criminal charges.

In one alleged instance, the former teacher, Jesus Concepcion, 48, instructed a minor "how to pose, to touch herself in a sexually explicit manner, and to photograph her genitalia," then shared those photos with a second minor to indicate "these were the sort of photographs Concepcion sought," according to the prosecutor.

The allegations against Concepcion, also known as "Mr. C.," are spelled out in a 14-page indictment unsealed Monday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Concepcion was formerly employed by KIPP NYC, which operates several public charter elementary, middle and high schools in the city, according to a statement released by KIPP NYC President Alicia Johnson, Superintendent Jim Manly and board Chairman Rafael Mayer.

"We are deeply saddened that any child experienced any abuse while a student or young alumni of KIPP NYC," said the statement issued Saturday after the former teacher's arrest.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

In addition to working for KIPP NYC, Concepcion was a founding teacher at Bronx Preparatory Charter School in 2000, and the subject of glowing 2001 New York Times profile that said he "sets the disciplinary tone with a tough-love blend of terror and teasing that has won the hearts of the black and Latino children he calls 'my son,' 'my brother,' 'my queen.'"

He only taught at Bronx Prep for seven months, the Times reported, before abruptly quitting due to "personal reasons" that he later explained as feeling unfulfilled there. He then returned to his teaching post at KIPP NYC, according to the Times.

"Teachers serve as trusted figures to their students as they work to educate and prepare them for the future," FBI Acting Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire said in a statement. "As alleged, Mr. Concepcion egregiously breached that trust as he abused his position to coerce students – some as young as 12 years old – into having sex with him."

She added: "Parents deserve to send their children to school each day knowing they will be safe as they receive an education – and not be exploited and assaulted by a so-called educator who only sees students as his potential victims."

Concepcion grew up in the Bronx on his way to acclaim and Carnegie Hall with his students, reports the Daily News.

KIPP NYC alerted its community of staff and student families in 2017 about allegations from two middle school alumni about sexual misconduct that occurred in the late 1990s to the early 2000s by two former staff members. By then, according to the school administrators, KIPP NYC already had "terminated" Concepcion "for misconduct with a student," and started to assist law enforcement and city and state agencies as they investigated the teacher.

The statement Monday from the school administrators did not name or reveal what happened with the second former staff member.

Among his other alleged actions, Concepcion provided each of the minor victims with a cell phone so they could communicate with him without their parents' knowledge, according to prosecutors.

He was arrested in Simpsonville, S.C., and formally charged with four counts of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and four counts of transporting a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. Each count carries a maximum life sentence in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

He also is charged with inducing a minor to produce child pornography, which also carries a maximum life sentence and a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.

An attorney for Concepcion was not immediately identified.

Related Articles