Guitar instructor Nathaniel Hernandez, 27, from Riverside, California was arrested and charged with lewd acts and sodomy with a child under 14 years old, according to CBS News.
Now, a video in which a former Guitar Center co-worker of Hernandez's, Marie Strassenburg, has posted a video on social media to discuss the company's mishandling of the situation. The video has garnered over 9 million views.
Hernandez had been fired from his job after not showing up to work, which at the time seemed like an unremarkable series of events — until bounty hunters began showing up looking for him. Strassenburg urged managers to contact Hernandez's students and warn them that he was wanted by police, but managers refused.
"When I found out that he was wanted by the police, we both pressed the store manager to get in touch with the parents and the students that used to be Nathaniel's and he refused," Strassenburg says. "He told us to keep it to ourselves, to keep it quiet."
"There may be other victims. They think there is other victims, and they will not contact those students and it's wrong," she adds.
Strassenburg ultimately left the company and took to Facebook to offer a warning to the public. The video has since gone viral:
"Do not enroll your kids through lessons with them. Go through a private teacher of someone you know, and never be afraid to ask to sit in on a lesson with your child," she advises in the video. "And if there is anybody — any adult — that says you are not allowed to be there when they're alone with your child take your business elsewhere."
Guitar Center has offered a response to the video via an official statement. "We are profoundly saddened by this situation and we are sorry for any trauma that customers, employees and anyone else may be feeling as a result. We have reached out to each family with children taking lessons at Guitar Center Moreno valley to ensure that they are aware of the situation," it reads.
The company also addressed Hernandez's criminal background: "While there have been news reports that the former employee in question was allegedly convicted of a burglary nine years ago, that alleged conviction was not flagged in the background check because California law limits background checks to seven years," the company explained. "Our professional outside firm also ran searches before the former employee was hired that confirmed he was not listed on the national sex offender registry."
Local police are looking into the possibility that Hernandez had other victims.
"At this point, it's still an on-going investigation and all the work has not been completed," said Riverside Police Detective Charlie Olivas.
[Photo: Facebook, Riverside Police Department]
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