Former Southfield music teacher charged with sexually abusing students

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published January 9, 2024

 Lamar Willis

Lamar Willis

Photo provided by the Lathrup Village Police Department


SOUTHFIELD — Former MacArthur K-8 University Academy music teacher Lamar Willis is facing four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of accosting a minor for immoral purposes.

According to the Lathrup Village Police Department, an incident involving Willis and his students was reported in March 2023 and allegedly took place on school grounds during the 2022-2023 school year.

Willis, 41, was placed on immediate suspension in March 2023, and an internal investigation was launched, according to the Southfield Public School District. In June 2023, Willis resigned and has had no contact with district students or staff since.

During the investigation, the Lathrup Village Police Department uncovered more students who were potential witnesses or victims. More allegations were disclosed during the additional interviews. In total, 15 students were interviewed by trained forensic interviewers from Care House of Oakland County.

According to a police report, a parent stated that her daughter said Willis touched her inappropriately and that Willis would have students go in the back room, “and while the students would be hugging and kissing, Mr. Willis would watch and give them instructions on what to do,” the police report states, adding that he allegedly commented on and instructed them to touch each other’s genitals.

The police report includes statements that other students would go to the class to have oral sex with each other, along with accusations of access to pornography.

After the investigation was closed, the case was sent to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office to be reviewed for charges. Willis was arraigned Dec. 18 in 46th District Court for charges of four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and three counts of accosting a minor for immoral purposes. He was given a $15,000 personal bond with several bond conditions, which include having no contact with any minor children and not going within 100 feet of any school.

“We have resources available for students, families, and staff members needing support or guidance during this challenging time,” Superintendent Jennifer Green stated in a letter to the families of the district. “Please be assured that Southfield Public Schools is dedicated to transparency and cooperation. As we navigate this situation, we focus on upholding our principles of safety, trust, and respect within our educational community. Our hearts go out to anyone affected by these distressing circumstances. We are committed to keeping our community informed as this situation develops while prioritizing the well-being of our students and staff.”

Green encouraged anyone with further information or concerns to share them with the authorities. She also shared the state of Michigan’s Ok2Say tipline, 8-555-OK2SAY or, a resource for students or parents to use if they ever feel that they or someone else is in a dangerous situation.

Willis, who had no previous criminal history, is scheduled for a probable cause conference in 46th District Court with Judge Cynthia Arvant Feb. 1 at 8:30 a.m. Willis’s lawyer declined to comment on the accusations.