Sentencing for pedophile dance teacher
A notorious Sydney pedophile dance teacher, who abused students for more than a decade and threatened them with demotion if they spoke out, has been sentenced to at least 18 years in jail.
Grant William Davies, who was a director of now-closed inner west dance school RG Dance, last year pleaded guilty to 28 child sex offences relating to nine victims over a period of 13 years.
In handing down her sentence, District Court judge Jennie Girdham said Davies' offending, which included counts of sexual intercourse with a child and using a child to create pornography, was "predatory and persistent".
She said Davies, 42, abused children at his home, during private lessons, on dance trips, and as he drove them around.
He also co-opted one mother to take explicit pictures of her daughters, known as GG and HH.
The court heard the siblings were offered fame by Davies, who told one "he loved her, she was sexy and wanted to kiss her all over".
"I didn't want to do the photos or videos for him but that's the only way I thought I would become a professional dancer," the court heard GG later told police.
Judge Girdham told the court on Friday Davies was in a position of trust to all of the eight girls and one boy he abused.
Pictures of four of his victim were found among a collection of child porn on his devices during investigations.
Young women held hands in the court room as Davies was sentenced to a maximum 24 years jail.
The mother who sent pictures of her daughter was jailed in 2014.
Judge Girdham said Davies had told a professor that he felt like he had an "emotional connection" and "special relationship" with the children.
"I liked being special to them," the court heard he said after being charged.
"I thought there was signals but even if there was signals, I shouldn't have responded to them."
People in the court scoffed at the suggestion that children played a part in the sickening sexual contact.
An angry father approached the dock and said inaudible words as Davies was led away.
Judge Girdham pointed out Davies had been the subject of a police investigation in 2007 but continued his offending regardless.
She said he had been assessed as having a " strong attraction to children" and little ability to control his sexual urges.
Outside court, Sydney dance teacher Dodie Wilson said the incidents had shaken the industry and that there were still some dance figures grooming children.
She doesn't believe Davies is genuinely remorseful.
"Grant believed he was better than everybody else," said Ms Wilson, who has been providing support to the victims.
"He's sorry he got caught and the reason he's not offending now is because he's in jail. Full stop."