Hudson County Superior Court Judge Joseph Isabella read a note from jurors yesterday afternoon and told them to return this morning to continue deliberating.
Granderson, 63, also known as Muhammad Bilal, operated the 676 School of Violin and Fine Arts at 676 Bergen Ave., where he also lived. He is charged with two counts of sex crimes in connection to Jan. 5, 2013, the day the girl went to police, as well as sex crimes against the girl between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 4, 2013.
Among the charges filed against the music teacher are two counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault. A first degree crime carries a possible prison sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.
Key evidence in the trial was the testimony of the alleged victim, who is now 11 years old. The state also produced a DNA expert who said Granderson could not be ruled out as a contributor of the male DNA from saliva found in the girl’s underwear. However, the testing did not positively show the DNA was definitively his, the expert said.
The girl testified that she was sexually abused by Granderson every time she went to music practice over the course of two years. Meanwhile, in her closing argument, defense attorney Genesis Peduto suggested that would be impossible. She noted that the girl’s mother often went to lessons with her daughter and Granderson had more than 60 other students.