A defense lawyer is challenging the charges against a music teacher accused of molesting more than a dozen female students at the Onondaga Nation School near Syracuse.

Defense attorney Edward Menkin argues that detectives interviewed 12 of the girls and told Onondaga Nation chiefs that they had found nothing to indicate a crime had occurred.

The lawyer contends that at least two girls told investigators that teacher Albert Scerbo of Clay had not done anything to them.

The 44-year-old teacher was indicted in March on nearly three dozen counts accusing him of endangering the welfare of 17 girls, and sexually molesting 16 of them, from September 2002 to last December. Prosecutors say the victims ranged in age from seven to 14.

Oral arguments on the lawyer's motions are scheduled for Onondaga County Court on June 12th, with a trial set to start July 23rd.