Martinez Dance Instructor Arrested For Sexual Assault of Student
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.
Legal Recourse For Victims of Sexual Abuse by Dance Instructors
Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor and current civil attorney who specializes in representing survivors of sexual violence. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by dance instructors and other types of instructors at private businesses:
One of the tragic realities of the world today is the fact that sexual predators are often found in positions of authority and trust, with many being respected members of their communities. These predators exploit their trust in order to commit heinous crimes. In any field that involves working with children, it’s important to be aware of this reality and to take preventative measures in order to keep predators away. When an instructor at a dance studio, martial arts studio, or any other type of instructional business sexually assaults customers, it’s important to seek justice.
Along with prosecuting the perpetrator and getting the victims the support they need, we should also ask if the business is also at fault for failing to prevent the abuse. For example, a dance studio might be considered negligent for sexual abuse of students if they failed to report an instructor previously accused of sexual misconduct to the police or if they failed to run a background check before hiring a new employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by an instructor or anyone else in a position of trust, you may have options for justice in the civil court system. Consider speaking to an experienced sex abuse survivors attorney to learn more about your family’s legal options.