Montgomery County Dance Instructor Accused Of Having Sex With Student
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., (CBS) — A dance teacher is under arrest accused of crossing the line with one of his young students.
The Montgomery County man taught in Conshohocken and Limerick Township.
Police say the incident came to light when the victim reported to a teacher that she had been sexually involved with her dance instructor. Her parents were notified and they called the police.
The allegations are shocking to neighbors.
Karen Sajda said, “It’s scary to think these things can happen but he was such a nice guy. I think we’re all surprised that this happened.”
According to police, 28-year-old Francis “Frank” Laurenzi of Urban Elegance Dance Club in Conshohocken had a sexual relationship with one of his students for two years. The victim, police say, is now 16-years-old.
Another neighbor Sanaa Oudda said, “I have a 14-year-old myself and it was a little disturbing when I heard, especially, you would never thing that he would do something like that.”
Court documents reveal — Before starting his own studio in Conshohocken last May, Laurenzi worked as an instructor at LeRoux School of Dance in Limerick Township. Police contend that is where the two met and the alleged victim started taking private dance lessons with Laurenzi.
Then in August of 2012, police say Laurenzi sent the victim a text suggesting he felt a mutual attraction and “Are we going to do something about it?”
The victim allegedly told police, they had sexual encounters in Limerick and Conshohocken. In addition, at Laurenzi’s request, she says she sent him nude and semi-nude pictures of herself. She claims Laurenzi shared at least one of the pictures with another male.
Police say the victim and Laurenzi discussed her age and his fear of getting caught.
Thursday night, Laurenzi was out on bail but could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Kelly Stento, Owner and Director of LeRoux School of Dance released the following statement:
“The entire LeRoux School of Dance family is deeply saddened to hear the reports that were released this morning, as both parties involved have had and will have some difficult times ahead. As the police report was just released this morning, there are understandably many questions and concerns, most of which are shared by those of us at LeRoux School of Dance. In light of that reality, we’d like to express our concern for the families involved and make the following simple statement.
LeRoux School of Dance always strives to maintain a safe environment for all of its dancers and their families, including, but not limited to, requiring background checks for all of our teachers. All LeRoux classes are conducted with supervision and with multiple people in the studio, creating a professional and fun environment in which parents are able to observe their children in class. We will continue to be vigilant in that pursuit so as to always maintain a positive environment for our children.
While Mr. Laurenzi was a teacher at LeRoux School of Dance in the past he taught group classes and did not have one on one lessons through our school. During this time he also conducted private lessons contracted directly between him and the student’s family, outside the operating hours of LeRoux School of Dance and completely unrelated to the classes and lessons provided by our school, at that time. Mr. Laurenzi ceased teaching at LeRoux School of Dance a year ago, leaving to expand his own teaching business. There was never anything in Mr. Laurenzi’s background that would indicate a predilection to the type of alleged behavior. Again, we are deeply saddened and distressed by the reports received but the actions alleged were not related to this school.”
Police charged Laurenzi with Statutory Rape, Corruption of Minors, Manufacturing Child Pornography and related offenses.
If anyone has more information about this or other incidents involving Laurenzi, police are asking you to contact Conshohocken Police Detectives at 610-828-4032 or Limerick Township Police Detectives at 610-495-7909.