Hilde De Windt

Dance teacher sentenced to 5 years for sexual offences against of minors

The Criminal Court in Antwerp has found a dance teacher from Boechout (Antwerp province) guilty of sexual offences against minors. The offences for which the man has been convicted are rape, sexual assault and the possession of child pornography. The dance teacher is one of the people that devised the popular children’s series LikeMe that is broadcast on the VRT’s children’s television channel Ketnet. The offences were committed while he was a dance teacher, prior to his involvement with LikeMe.         

As a dance teacher, the 38-year-old regularly come into contact with minors. Last year a former pupil lodged a complaint against him alleging sexual assault and rape. The offences were committed between 2004 and 2008 when the victim was given dancing lessons by the man in Brasschaat and Berchem (both Antwerp province).

During the investigation a further 3 former pupils made allegations of sexual abuse against the man. He vigorously protested his innocence.

The court found him guilty of rape and several counts of sexual assault and the possession of child pornography as a naked photo of a child dancer was found on his mobile phone. He was sentence to 5 years in prison. 30 months of which suspended. The court also obliged him to get therapy and banned him from working with minors for 5 years.      

When the allegations were first made the man resigned from the production company that makes #LikeMe. Consequently the VRT saw no reason to end its collaboration with the makers of the popular children’s series.