Queens music academy owner accused of sex with young girls

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- The owner of a Queens music academy was arrested Tuesday morning, accused of having sex with underage girls.

Police searched the home and business of Oliver Sohngen, who operates the Long Island City Academy of Music on 23rd Street.

Authorities say Sohngen, who also used the names Helmuth Moss and Stephen Weierbach, arranged the meetings with the underage girls. He is not believed to have been involved with students at the music academy.

According to the criminal complaint, between March and November of 2013, Sohngen exchanged explicit text messages and arranged to pay for sexual encounters with girls between the ages of 8 and 17. He also is accused having sexual contact with 15- and 17 year-old girls.

Prosecutors say the crimes were unraveled when Sohngen communicated via cell phone with an undercover police officer he believed was a young girl between November 2015 and January 2016. He allegedly wanted to meet her for sex.

He is now charged with multiple counts of child sex trafficking.
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