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Woman commits suicide during rape trial

Feb. 9, 2013 at 7:06 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A British woman committed suicide after testifying against a world-renowned choirmaster she said raped her, officials said.

The body of violin teacher Frances Andrade, 48, was found at her home last month, less than a week after she gave testimony against Michael Brewer, 68, in Manchester Crown Court, The Daily Telegraph reported. Brewer was acquitted on the most serious charges Friday but convicted of indecent assault.

Andrade testified Jan. 16-17 that Brewer sexually assaulted her while she was a student at Chetham's School of Music. She also alleged his former wife, Kay, knew about the sexual assaults.

While Brewer, who went on to become artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Britain and direct the World Youth Choir, was acquitted of rape charges, he was found guilty of five counts of indecently assaulting Andrade in his office when she was 14 and 15.

Kay Brewer, 68, was acquitted of aiding and abetting rape, but found guilty of indecent assault against Andrade at the family home when she was 18.

Both defendants called the charges against them "completely untrue."

Judge Martin Rudland remarked that Andrade was "clearly undergoing a cathartic experience, whatever the source" while giving evidence.

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