California Child Sexual Abuse Case Tears Ballet Community Apart

As is so often the case when an adult cultivates the courage to reveal after years of painful silence one or multiple episodes of being sexually abused as an adolescent, the details are graphic and eminently sad.

And not always believed.

Witness the currently ongoing case of a globally renowned Bay Area-based ballet teacher who has worked with aspiring California ballerinas for years. That individual was arrested earlier this year and charged with more than a score of felony counts relevant to his alleged illegal behavior with a young teen dancer, now 29. He is currently sitting in jail pending further developments in his case.

Not everyone believes the charges, despite the girl’s offered details and, reportedly, the instructor’s own admission of guilt recorded late last year. Not even the accusations of a second young woman who has also come forward with similar charges have altered the opinions of some within the ballet community who assert the teacher’s innocence without looking into the specifics of the case.

That circling together of solid support for the instructor greatly disturbs the alleged victims of a man whose charges include multiple counts of forcible rape. The first ex-dancer to come forward says that she has endured years of shame.

“I felt I was a disgusting person,” she says, expressing a sentiment that is commonly communicated by individuals sexually abused as children.”

She second woman to publicly target the instructor says she was emboldened to do so by the courage of the first accuser. She recently told reporters that she felt a dire need to relate her story and that she “didn’t want people to think she’s [the first accuser] making up lies.”

The instructor was initially detained in jail on a $10 million bond. That was ultimately revoked by a judge, whose denial followed her determination that the man presents a risk to the public.

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