Groningen Dance Center owner held on 11 allegations of abuse; 10 victims were minors
The owner of a dance school in Groningen was ordered into pre-trial custody over allegations he abused 11 people. Several media outlets in the Netherlands reported that the 37-year-old was accused of sexual abuse after the 11 suspected victims filed reports against him, but the Public Prosecution Service (OM) would not detail the nature of the allegations.
“All but one of the declarants are minors,” a spokesperson for the OM told Dagblad van het Noorden. The investigation was still ongoing as of Saturday, and the OM did not rule out the possibility that more charges will be filed against him.
The founder of the Groningen Dance Center was taken into custody on September 8. He was ordered into 90 days of pre-trial detention on Thursday, the newspaper reported.
Parents of students were asked in a letter from the school to cooperate with the investigation and for other victims to make themselves heard. A letter sent by the school board to parents and members also asked for witnesses to contact the police, according to the newspaper.
Dance instructor Eurnalis Sambo said that the news was really difficult to digest because of the effort and energy from parents, teachers and dancers that went into developing the school over its 16-year history. “Classes have always been of a high standard, and the school has performed well locally, nationally and internationally,” she said in the letter sent by the school board.
She said the competition weekends, rehearsals and workshops “have made us a tight-knit family.” She said that the instructors and school board want to take control and keep the organization running without the owner’s influence.
“We ask for your confidence and support to face a new future with us in a safe environment,” Sambo said.