Last Updated: 7/13/2020
Police in Martinez arrested a 31-year-old dance instructor in June after a former student accused him of sexually abusing her when she was a teen. Daniel Howarter was a dance instructor at In Motion Dance Center on Arnold Drive when the alleged abuse occurred.
The victim contacted police earlier this year and reported that Howarter assaulted her five years ago, when she was 15 years old. According to court documents, Howarter committed the abuse “against said victim’s will by force, violence, duress, menace, and fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to said victim and to another.”
Howarter was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility with bail set at $75,000.
Authorities have asked other victims and anyone else with information regarding sexual abuse to contact the Martinez Police Department.
Attorney Contributor Bobby Thompson is a civil attorney who represents sexual assault victims. We interviewed him about the legal rights of someone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by a dance instructor.
“Sexual predators will often apply to work in positions that are viewed as trustworthy and come with some level of authority. Common examples of this are a martial arts instructor, a teacher, or a dance instructor. Businesses are responsible for being aware of this risk and to take measures to prevent it. For example, if a business does not conduct a background check and hires someone who is a registered sex offender, the business may be held as negligent if that person sexually abuses someone. In these situations, the victims can file a civil lawsuit against the business because of their negligence.”