Police arrest ASO pianist and music teacher on 3 counts of child porn
by Lindsay Field
July 19, 2013 12:00 AM | 14130 views | 10 10 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Todd Skrabanek
Todd Skrabanek
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A Marietta man who plays piano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus and two churches was arrested Wednesday on charges of possessing child pornography and distributing it over the Internet.

J. Todd Skrabanek, 46, turned himself in to the Cobb Police Department’s Crimes Against Children office on Whitlock Avenue, according to authorities.

Sgt. Dana Pierce said detectives found evidence during a search of Skrabanek’s apartment in the 300 block of Smokerise Circle, which is in the Chimney Trace apartment complex off Terrell Mill Road near Powers Ferry Road in east Cobb.

“We did take electronic equipment from his residence and we are doing forensic examinations of that, but we do have knowledge that he has not only those images but he also has put some images on the Internet,” Pierce said.

Police executed a search warrant Wednesday morning at the apartment, then called Skrabanek in for questioning that afternoon, Pierce said. Detectives then decided to charge him with three counts of sexual exploitation of children. He remains in the Cobb County jail without bond.

GBI initiated investigation

Cobb police were put on the case through the Internet Crimes Against Children unit run by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. This unit is staffed by officers posing as children or teens in various online chatrooms and sites.

Detectives also learned that Skrabanek previously worked with children at numerous locations throughout metro Atlanta ore

teaching music lessons.

Pierce could not say what specific evidence detectives collected or whether the pornography displayed any single gender. Skrabanek taught piano lessons to both boys and girls.

“He has been here in Cobb County for at least four years, however, he grew up in Georgia and he has been giving piano lessons virtually all of his life,” Pierce said.

Police are hoping to hear from parents of children who may have taken lessons or been in contact with Skrabanek.

Because Skrabanek may have taught lessons outside of Cobb, Pierce said other agencies throughout Georgia may also be looking for victims in their jurisdictions.

Anyone whose children have been in contact with Skrabanek, or has additional information on this case is asked to call (770) 801-3470.

Neighbor reacts to allegations

One of Skrabanek’s neighbors at Chimney Trace, who asked that her name not be used, has lived in the same building with him for a “couple of years.”

She described him as a pleasant neighbor and said she last saw him a few days ago on July 8 or 9.

“He said he had been happy and had more of a social life these days than ever before,” she said. “He was kind of quiet, kept to himself and was friendly enough if you spoke to him.”

The resident, who has lived at Chimney Trace for more than 20 years, said she saw officers going through Skrabanek’s car and inside his apartment Wednesday.

“There was a crime scene SUV and two detectives in marked cars, but they didn’t talk to anybody that I know of,” she said. “I thought we had had another break-in. But I wasn’t quite sure because there were not officers there in uniforms.”

The woman said she was “definitely surprised” to hear that her neighbor was arrested on child porn charges.

“I’m just blown away,” she said. “It makes me uncomfortable and I guess it’s fortunate that we don’t have but a few children living here.”

She never recalled anyone, specifically children, ever going into or out of his apartment for music lessons.

About Skrabanek

Melissa Sanders, a spokesperson with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, said Skrabanek’s current role is as a pianist for the orchestra’s chorus rehearsals.

She couldn’t say how long Skrabanek had worked for the organization, but said it was “quite a long time.”

Sanders declined to comment on any personnel matters of the orchestra or what might happen with Skrabanek’s employment, but that the orchestra was aware of his arrest.

According to Skrabanek’s website, toddmusic.com, he also plays piano at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church and Meridian Herald, both located in Atlanta.

The biography page on his website says he moved with his parents to Atlanta in 1971 from New York. Shortly thereafter he joined the Atlanta Boy Choir, where he “discovered he had perfect pitch” and has been a musician ever since, first learning how to play piano.

The biography states Skrabanek married a longtime friend that he met at Florida State, Susan Smith, in 2000, but the couple separated in 2010, “amicably parted as dear friends.”

He studied music at Birmingham-Southern University in Alabama, Florida State University, the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and Georgia State University.

Skrabanek has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the Philharmonie in Berlin, Germany, according to his Facebook page.

“In his spare time he enjoys practicing, yoga, reading, (the TV show) Criminal Minds, sports, listening, talking with friends, and pursuing clarity in all things musical, spiritual, intellectual, and physical,” according to his website biography.

Skrabanek has also played piano for the Alabama and Augusta symphonies, Atlanta Opera, Choral Guild of Atlanta, Capitol City Opera, Dorsey School of Performing Arts, Harmony Atlanta’s International Youth Chorus, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, and was an instructor at Agnes Scott College.

 

Comments
(10)
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Windsongmusic
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January 26, 2014
I took lessons from Todd. Both piano and vocal performance. I also know many others who were taught by him. I never witnessed him make any advances toward anyone, male or female. He never said or did anything innapropreate.

In fact, he is one of the kindest, gentlest, and caring people I've ever met. Going as far as to offer me help during one of the most difficult times in my life. Never once asking for anything in return.

Everyone I have spoken to about this finds it insane. Every former student I have spoken to, every facility member.

Anyone who actually knows him knows he would give his last dollar or his last breath to help another person. I can't believe he would never willing hurt human, much less a child.

If he is found guilty I will be suprized and disappointed. It will not change the fact I trust him. It will also not change the fact he is the best accompanist and piano teacher I've ever had the pleasure of learning from.

My prayers are with you Todd!
jaura
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September 19, 2013
What is wrong with you people? Here is a potential tragedy and you are reduced to childish name calling! This is the USA, and here everyone is innocent until proven guilty, or hadn't you heard? And for God's sake this is not a partisan issue!!! It has absolutely nothing to do with party politics!! Try to raise yourselves out of the gutter, please.
Judith Abraham
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July 19, 2013
This man has been my friend for about twenty years.

If he is tried, and found guilty, I shall be deeply saddened. But, he is my friend. And the outcome of this situation, whatever it is, will not change the open hand I offer him in friendship.
Loving Mother
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July 24, 2013
This man is disgusting and should be prosecuted to the full extent. I can think of no worse crime than sexual abuse & exploitation of a child. Obviously you do not have kids, otherwise you would never admit to being a friend to a pedophile.
Greg123xmd
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July 30, 2013
Loving Mother, we completely agree that harming a child is evil, however, you jump to conclusions that he physically hurt a child. He had images on his computer and that is all it says.
Lest we forget
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July 19, 2013
Churchgoers are typically Republican voting Fox News fans!
Uh-uh
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July 19, 2013
Just as much as gun-toting wannabee thugs are typically Democrat voting wouldn't-know-news-if-if-it-slapped-em-in-the-face leeches of society.
@Lest we forget
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July 19, 2013
Thank you for verifying what an imbecile you are; too bad you are such a coward, you can't sign your actual name to your posting. Come on - I dare you to.

C. Baldwin
Lest we forget libta
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July 20, 2013
Lest we forget libtards like the one above whining about "profiling"
KaitlynBird
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July 19, 2013
Glad another pedophile was caught. People, please do call that phone number if you know any possible victims or students of his, and report any other pedo porn to Report.Cybertip.Org because pedophilia is sick.
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