A dance instructor at the KLR Studios for Dance & Music in Woodbridge has been arrested on sexual abuse and pornography charges based on allegations of sexual contact with a 15-year-old student from the studio.
On March 27, detectives with the Prince William County Police Department began investigating reports of an inappropriate relationship between the instructor, 34-year-old Robert Lee Raney, and the victim, who was 15 years old when the alleged abuse occurred. This relationship began in 2014, according to the police.
Police say that Laney solicited inappropriate photos and videos from the victim over a social media app called SnapChat. This eventually led to in-person sexual contact. The victim's parents became aware of the relationship and contacted police.
Raney was arrested on April 18 and has been charged with indecent liberties by a custodian, possession of child pornography, and use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazan represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil cases. Here is some insight from Kevin on the options for legal recourse available to survivors of abuse by instructors, teachers, and other individuals in positions of trust over children:
In any field that involves working with children, it's crucial for management to make sure that the kids under their watch are safe. Unfortunately, sexual predators are often found in these fields, as they see their positions of trust and authority as a way to commit terrible crimes. New job applicants must be thoroughly screened, any allegations of abuse must be taken seriously, and preventative measures should be in place in order to reduce the risk of employees abusing children.
When an instructor at a business like a dance or martial arts studio abuses a student, it's important to take several things into consideration. The abuser must be prosecuted and removed from the business before he or she can continue their abuse, the victims must get the support they need, and the business should also be investigated to determine if their negligence allowed the abuse to occur.
For example, a dance studio could be considered negligent in a case of abuse if the abuser did not have a background check before he was hired, which could have revealed a past history of sexual misconduct. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the business.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by an instructor or someone else in a position of trust, you can learn more about your family's legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse survivors attorney.