Dance teacher arrested for sexual relationship with teen

- A North Port dance instructor is behind bars after being charged with performing sexual acts on a teen.

The founder of Haven Dance Studio, Lauren  Debendetta, is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor.

The details of the case are disturbing. According to the affidavit, on December 19, 2016 the 15-year-old victim was sick and didn't attend school. Her stepfather came home to check up on her and found the dance instructor in his house.

Investigator say Debenedetta and the teen were chatting on a cell phone she bought for the victim. The teen's parents had no idea. Debenedetta used that phone to call her that day and found out she was home alone.

The report indicates Debenedetta came over and the dance instructor performed sexual acts.

According to the affidavit, several incidents occurred between both of them while at the dance studio and at Debenedetta’s house.

Our FOX affiliate in Fort Myers obtained an email from the studio's owner, "It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Haven Dance Studio will be closed immediately."

According to the Haven Dance website, Debenedetta taught dancers ages five through adulthood.
 

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Dance teacher arrested for sexual relationship with teen
  • Tampa Bay school districts announce makeup days
  • Withlacoochee expected to crest Wednesday
  • After Dunedin school serves as shelter, 80 books missing from classroom
  • Hillsborough County deputies rescue 103-year-old woman during Irma
  • Neo-Nazi takes plea deal on explosives charges
  • Local lineman dies during Hurricane Irma recovery efforts
  • St. Petersburg police searching for looter suspect
  • Police identify possible suspect who followed victim home, attacked her
  • Time drags for those waiting for news from Puerto Rico