A convicted sex offender accused of illegally offering guitar lessons to children was acquitted of the charge Thursday.
David Bruce Colley said he didn’t know a more than 20-year-old sexual battery conviction from California would prevent him from opening a business in 2016 on the Woodstock Square.
During a brief bench trial Thursday, prosecutors said Colley taught guitar lessons to underage students in violation of his status as a convicted sex offender. McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said prosecutors failed to prove that the guitar lessons were marketed exclusively to children.
In 1994, Colley pleaded no contest to allegations that he had inappropriate contact with a girl from his church.
The 53-year-old moved back to Illinois in 2015, and in 2016, he opened the now-defunct G4 Guitar School, where he offered guitar lessons to people of all ages, he said.
Woodstock police, however, said at the time that they received a tip that a convicted child sex offender was operating a guitar school at 216 Main St.
Although he wasn’t required to register as a sex offender in California, the conviction still required Colley to abide by certain restrictions, including refraining from offering services specifically to minors.
“I didn’t know any of this,” said Colley, who now lives in Wisconsin. “I didn’t even know I was a sex offender.”
Colley faces a separate misdemeanor charge in connection with violated additional restrictions by being in a public park in 2016. He is due back in court on the misdemeanor case Jan. 30.