Cellist Jérôme Pernoo, soloist and professor with international renown, was sentenced Tuesday in Paris to a year in prison suspended for sexual assault on a former student aged 14 at the time of the facts, in 2005.
The prosecutor's office had requested in May two years in prison, one of which was suspended, against the 51-year-old musician, a former professor at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP). The sentence handed down by the Paris Criminal Court is accompanied by a ban on engaging in any voluntary or professional activity with minors for ten years. The name of the convicted person was entered in the Sexual or Violent Offences Index (Fijais).
Jérôme Pernoo was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old former student at the time of the incident in 2005 in London. The latter had claimed that the teacher had "stroked his sex by surprise while he was asleep in his bed". The student, now 32 years old, had attended courses led by the one he considered his "surrogate father", having lost his very young.
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The defendant was ordered to pay him 6070 euros for material damage and 5000 euros for non-pecuniary damage. The cellist, however, was acquitted of the facts of sexual harassment on two young adults between 2011 and 2016, due to persistent doubt and the absence of direct witnesses.
The two complainants accused her of "slapping her buttocks", fondling her breasts as part of a game called "pouet-pouet" (palpation), or the nickname "my little". At the end of 2022, a young cellist renowned until now intervened in support of his mentor had also chosen to speak out against the professor, saying that the defendant had, among other things, "sought to kiss him" and had sent him "many messages of love". Jérôme Pernoo was acquitted for these facts that he has always denied.
The court nevertheless highlighted the "troubled relations", as well as the "ambiguous attitude that causes confusion" that the cello teacher had had with his students, but which "are not of a criminal nature".
A teacher at the CNSMDP since 2007, Jérôme Pernoo was suspended and then dismissed without notice or compensation by the Parisian establishment in May 2022, following an administrative investigation and disciplinary proceedings. The dismissal was confirmed in November by the Paris Administrative Court. The teacher appealed this sanction.