Dance instructor arrested for relationship with underage student - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Dance instructor arrested for relationship with underage student


A dance instructor was arrested on an indecent liberties with a minor charge for an alleged relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Henrico police say Andrew F. DeFiesta, 34, and the female student were involved in an incident in September of 2012 at the Regency Dance Academy in the 8900 block of Quioccasin Road.

In court Monday a judge denied DeFiesta bond. Prosecutors describe DeFiesta as a man who used his position to take advantage of a 16-year-old female student.

DeFiesta began teaching hip hop, jazz, and modern dance at Regency Dance Academy in 2009.

The manager of the dance studio describes DeFiesta as a popular, caring coach. His wife of nine years also worked at the dance studio.

"He's probably one of the most well-liked teachers we've ever had. There would be no indication what-so-ever of any problem," said John Crouch.

In court, prosecutors told a judge DeFiesta was caught having sex with the teenager at the dance studio. The studio manager says all instructors have keys to the business.

"The activity that occurred didn't occur during business hours - from my understanding. It occurred when the studio was closed," said Crouch.

DeFiesta allegedly made a threat - stating "if anyone told," of the alleged sex crime, "it would be the last thing they'd say."

Outside of being a dance instructor, DeFiesta also served in the army. He was deployed to Iraq twice.

The manager of Regency Dance Academy says DeFiesta and his wife Emily, who's not charged with a crime, were fired on Friday when DeFiesta surrendered to police.

"The safety of our students is important to us," said Crouch. "Everybody is treated as family - we're as shocked and hurt by this situation as anybody."

DeFiesta will remain behind bars at least until his next court date, scheduled for November 30.

In court, prosecutors brought up similar allegations made against DeFiesta when he worked at a different dance studio - however, he was never charged.

If DeFiesta is found guilty he faces up to 5 years behind bars and or a $2500 fine.

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