Putnam Valley music teacher accused o...

Putnam Valley music teacher accused of sexually abusing student

There are 9 comments on the Journal News story from Sep 16, 2007, titled Putnam Valley music teacher accused of sexually abusing student. In it, Journal News reports that:

PUTNAM VALLEY - Stephen L. Andersen, a music teacher and the Putnam Valley town historian, has been charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy who was taking guitar lessons from him. via Journal News

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Journal News.

Goldee Greene

Peekskill, NY

#1 Sep 19, 2007
There must be some kind of misunderstanding, or outright lying regarding the accucations levied against Steve Andersen.

I have known him for over ten years and cannot believe that he would hurt a fly, much less a child left in his charge.

He is a gentle, good man who almost seems to be afraid of his own shadow. Yes, he is kind of quirky, but then aren't many intellectuals?

It is also unbelievable that his bail was set so high. This man does not belong in jail!

Southold, NY

#2 Sep 23, 2007
On the flip side of this, I have heard (for many many years), that he was an abuser...especially involving boys...it has been common knowledge among some of the locals, that you do not send your child to his home for music lessons. It is not something that you want to believe is true about someone, but it's the way the world is these days. My heart goes out to the child who had to go through this awful experience...hopefully, justice will be served & S Andersen will never have another opportunity to hurt any of our children.
James-Putnam Valley

Mattituck, NY

#3 Oct 17, 2007
Along with several other current adult students of Stephen Anderson, I find the isolated accusation related in this story incredulous. As an advanced graduate level student of clinical psychology, I find it unlikely and would be surprised if it had any merit other than the “word” of a 15 year old. Logistically, the office is not a “home” office as stated in the paper but rather a very public and busy office open to all parents and students, many parents sitting in the lesson room where the windowed street entrance is 6-10 feet from the teaching area. Four consecutive events of a sexual nature would be quite a feat to perpetrate on a 15 year old, an age many States consider competent enough to try as an adult for serious crimes. However, only after four incidents, the passing of 10 months, and the need for a new guitar did this student come forth with the details of the allegations. Any student of psychology, having a cursory familiarity with heinous pathological paraphilias, can see that Mr. Anderson certainly does not fit the prototypical abusing stereotype. He is emotionally stable, socially comfortable with adult peers, and very public both in his desire to teach as well as admonish children and adults. However, he is also idiosyncratic and very eccentric. Combined with his frail appearance, Benjamin Franklin hair, odd affect, and peculiar laugh, he has on occasion been the target of taunting and ridicule by Putnam Valley youth. As a student, I can’t tell you how many times he yells “No” while striking and innocuously directing my hands in a corrective manner to the piano keys, or how many times he yells the correct notes out,“C…C…C…!” I’m sure many fellow piano and guitar students can relate similar stories regarding Stephen’s pedantic style. Yet, I can understand the effect such disciplinary methods might have on students of immature years and varied sensitivity. Yes, Stephen Anderson’s methods are admittedly unconventional, and he seemingly eccentric, but such characteristics are certainly not criminal or pathological. In a case where two individuals’ futures are based on a “He said, he said” scenario, one can only hope that truth and a long history of good personal character wins the day.
(P.S. Note how anonymous (i.e. GME)postings jump on the bandwagon of unsubstantiated hate).

Schroon Lake, NY

#4 Aug 19, 2008
My brother and I took piano lessons from Steven in the mid 70's at his house (a rental up near Oskawana Lake) well before he had his studio. When I saw the article I was not surprised. I mentioned the article to my brother and told him that Steven had propositioned me when I was in 7th or 8th grade. In a separate incident, my brother said that Steven had propositioned him, as well. We were not interested and Steven never forced himself on us, and I shrugged it off - no big deal. However, I suspect that in the intervening 30+ years there must have been other kids that were confronted with the same situation and the outcome may not have been what they wanted.

My heart goes out to Steven and the boy in question, and I hope they are able to find peace.

West Islip, NY

#5 Apr 27, 2009
Stephen is my godfather, and my brother and I spent quite a bit of time with him when we were a young boys up in his extremely isolated house in putnam county, and he never, ever approached me or my brother with any type of inappropriate behavior. He would take us all over long island and upstate New York on "Historical" journeys, to the movies, all sort of places. He is very eccentric as one other poster mentioned, and he is a very intelligent individual. People could easily misunderstand his way of being in many different ways, but being that I spent as much time with him as I did and he never gave even the slightest hint of this type of behavior I find this accusation to be hard to believe and offensive.
Lifelong Putnam Resident

Valhalla, NY

#6 Jan 25, 2010
Goldee Greene wrote:
There must be some kind of misunderstanding, or outright lying regarding the accucations levied against Steve Andersen.
I have known him for over ten years and cannot believe that he would hurt a fly, much less a child left in his charge.
He is a gentle, good man who almost seems to be afraid of his own shadow. Yes, he is kind of quirky, but then aren't many intellectuals?
It is also unbelievable that his bail was set so high. This man does not belong in jail!
Steve Anderson abused me and my two brothers every week for over two years while having music lessons in the early 80's. That man is a disturbed individual and for over twenty years we have been hiding that abuse I will be contacting the Putnam County Police Department tomorrow.

Brooklyn, NY

#7 Jan 26, 2010
My children took lessons from Steve Anderson about 25 years ago and I always had trouble getting them to go there. After several years of fighting with them to go for lessons I finally gave up. I found out about three years later that Steve Anderson was sexually abusing each of them. Naturally being young they were afraid to say it at the time. I reported incident to police upon finding out but nothing became of it. I hope he gets what he deserves for abusing children for at least 25 years that i know of - sure its been many more. I will forward my incident to local authorities, just so they know they are dealing with a repeated offender. He should be locked away and castrated

Mattituck, NY

#8 Jan 29, 2010
After reading these post and noticing that there seems to be others whom have been abused by this man it just saddens me. It is interesting how the people who posted they had contact with this man years ago seemed to have shrugged off the incident. Back in the day it was the way it was, I am happy now it is not. This man will have to pay for what he was doing to others. What needs to be done is try to contact those who had those experiences with this man. I say this in not contacting in helping in the prosticution of him but in stopping those he infected with this perverted act in doing it to others. Im not saying all whom have been abused will be abusive but there is a strong possibility it will affect how they will deal with situations that will arise in their lives. If those individuals can get help they will then get themselves in check and this will only help there lives and ours. I will end this with hoping this man if found guilty with get the full extent of what our current law applies.

Fort Lee, NJ

#9 Feb 20, 2013
i took guitar lessons with this creep in the 80's and he is most definitely a pedophile.
i never liked him and HATED taking lessons with him.
he would put his hand on my leg and make weird faces and just made me feel really uncomfortable.
I was 13-14 at the time,a virgin,inexperienced and too naieve to know what was exactly happening.
I hope this nonce gets his share of justice and incarceration.

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