Criminal case pressed against dance instructor

Criminal case pressed against dance instructor

A Brabant dance trainer was accused by four women of sexual misconduct as a national scandal surrounding sexual abuse in the dance world is mounting, BN DeStem reports. The dance teacher is still employed.

Oosterhout dancer Kim Koumans, who first spoke out last year about the unwanted sexual advances she had experienced as a top dancer, is one of the women pressing charges. Two other women are also pressing charges, one of them through the vice squad. The fourth woman is unable to file a declaration due to a statute of limitations, since the sexual acts she reports happened in the 1990s.

The accusations come amid a larger investigation into abuses in the dance world sparked by Koumans sharing her experiences last fall. By pressing charges, the dancers have taken the first criminal steps in the dance abuse scandal.

The accused dance teacher was already convicted nearly 20 years ago of sexual acts with a 14-year-old female student –– the fourth woman –– whom he kissed and groped during private lessons. The teacher said at the time that he was not aware of any wrongdoing. He was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and a suspended prison sentence of six months.

Noordhollands Dagblad journalist Marco Knippen has been interviewing dancers connected to the larger investigation into abuses in the dance world. He has spoken with around 15 dancers who say they have been victims of abuse of power leading to sexual misconduct, intimidation, name calling, belittling and encouragement of eating disorders. 

The complaints concern trainers, counselors and even television program celebrities. In some cases, several victims have mentioned the same dance trainer in their complaints.

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