Dance Teacher Sentenced to 8 Years After Pleading Guilty to Sex Abuse
A Franklin dance teacher will spend eight years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure on Monday. 30-year-old Ross McCord admitted to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who was one of his students at DC Dance Factory. The assaults took place between December 2016 and February 2017.
McCord was employed as a dance instructor and taught teen classes at DC Dance Factory for the past decade. He was indicted by a Williamson County grand jury in December 2017 on four counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, four counts of aggravated statutory rape, solicitation of sexual exploitation by a minor and exploitation of a minor by electronic means.
In April 2018, McCord was indicted in Davidson County on additional charges – including three more counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and aggravated statutory rape and one count of solicitation of a minor. These additional charges involved the same victim.
Legal Recourse for Victims of Child Sex Abuse by Authority Figures
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil cases. We’ve asked him to add some insight concerning the legal options available to victims of sexual abuse by teachers, coaches, instructors, and other authority figures:
Sexual predators are often found in positions of trust and authority – such as coaching, teaching, and religious leadership. These predators exploit the trust of their communities and commit heinous crimes, which traumatize their victims and their families and affect the entire community. These predators must be brought to justice by law enforcement and the victims must get the support they need. Additionally, organizations and businesses whose negligence enables sexual abuse to occur must also be held accountable.
For example, a martial arts or dance studio might be considered liable for sexual abuse by an employee for negligence such as inadequate supervision or failure to run a background check before hiring a new employee. When negligence is found to have played a role in cases of sexual abuse, the victims and their families may have the right to file a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a coach, instructor, teacher, or someone else in a position of authority, we understand the struggles your family is facing during this troubling time. To learn more about your legal options, consider contacting one of our experienced sex abuse survivors attorneys for a free consultation.