A Carmel voice instructor has been found not guilty of a child seduction charge stemming from an April 2017 incident at his Main Street studio.
Hamilton County Judge David Najjar ruled that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Blair Clark, 63, broke the law during an emotional interaction with an intern on April 26, 2017.
“I feel very relieved, and I’m very happy,” Clark said after the verdict. “I’m (glad) that it’s over and I’ve been vindicated.”
Clark maintained his innocence since his arrest in June 2017, after an intern told police that Clark gave her a prolonged hug and kissed her on the lips and neck, making her feel uncomfortable. She also told investigators that Clark said he saw her as more than a student.
Clark initially told police in a 2017 interview that the incident was a misunderstanding, but at the time he said he didn’t know the extent of the allegations. Once he learned she was accusing him of acting in a sexual way, he changed his opinion.
“Then I knew it wasn’t a misunderstanding and she was lying,” Clark said on the witness stand.
The former intern, who is now a 19-year-old sophomore at Ball State University, also testified. She said she viewed Clark as a father figure before the incident and that he frequently hugged her and kissed her on the cheek, as he did with many of his students, which did not make her feel uncomfortable. The hug in April, however, hug was “longer,” “tighter” and sexual in nature, she said.
Clark didn’t deny that the hug he gave the intern that day was different. He had just returned from Lansing, Mich., where his mother had recently died. He said he was crying as he hugged her out of grief for his mother. But he said he didn’t kiss her in an inappropriate way or become sexually aroused, he said. He also denied saying he wanted any kind of romantic relationship with her.
Several of Clark’s former students and a parent testified in his defense, calling the allegations completely out of character.
Clark said after the trial he’s felt like an “outsider” since his arrest and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the community again. The City of Carmel stopped booking Clark as a performer at events as the case worked its way through the legal system, although it continued to use him as a consultant.