Latest News

National News

Pedophile dance teacher 'groomed' parents

A pedophile Sydney dance coach who molested students over more than a decade was able to "groom" the parents of his victims, taking advantage of their strong desire for their children to succeed, a royal commission has found.

The child abuse royal commission's damning report into the experiences of students at Grant Davies' RG Dance studio at Chiswick found that some of the abuse was carried out in public by Davies in front of parents, teachers, administrators and other students.

He would enter changing rooms unannounced, inappropriately touch students and make sexualised comments to them, and there were no child protection policies or codes of conduct in place at RG Dance studio that could be used to challenge him.

Students and teachers who did speak up were accused of lying and labelled troublemakers, and parents were "groomed" to comply with Davies' wishes, a report released on Thursday by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found.

"Both the parents and the students feared that non-compliance with Davies' requests would have a negative impact on their dance careers," the commission found.

"As a result, the reporting of the abuse was hindered and did not happen in a timely manner."

Davies is serving a minimum 18-year jail term for dozens of sex offences against nine dancers aged nine to 14, committed between 2001 and 2013.

The royal commission's report was also critical of police, who decided not to prosecute Davies in 2007 amid a lack of evidence.

It found police failed to interview key witnesses, and an "unacceptable" two-month delay in searching Davies' computer which allowed him to get rid of it, along with the child abuse images it allegedly contained.

Ms Davies' sister Rebecca Davies was also in the firing line for failing to stop her brother despite knowledge of his predatory behaviour, and for not keeping parents properly informed.

In separate findings, the royal commission reported that the Australian Institute of Music did not take proper steps to protect students of renowned Ukrainian pianist Victor Makarov in 2004.

Makarov was allowed to continue teaching under supervision for months after he was charged with a number of child sexual offences in February of that year.

This was despite the NSW Department of Education having rated Makarov a 'high level of risk'.

"AIM's response to the events in 2004 did not strike the right balance between the interests of students alleging child sexual abuse and those of the alleged perpetrator," the commission found.

Makarov was eventually jailed for child sex offences.

© AAP 2017

More from River949.com

Ipswich council votes Wayne Wendt as its new Deputy

Ipswich council votes Wayne Wendt as its new Deputy

Ipswich City Council has unanimously voted in Wayne Wendt (above) as its new Deputy Mayor, following the resignation of his longstanding predecessor...

Vic ambos embroiled in drugs scandal

Vic ambos embroiled in drugs scandal

More than a dozen Victorian paramedics have been caught using and trafficking illicit drugs stolen from ambulance supplies with some even taking...

Ipswich council contractor faces court over Triple C charges

Ipswich council contractor faces court over Triple C charges

UPDATE: An Ipswich City Council contractor has faced a Brisbane court over corruption and fraud offences.  Wayne Francis Innes was charged...

US college students in France acid attack

US college students in France acid attack

The four American tourists who French authorities say were attacked with acid at a train station in the city of Marseille are students at Boston...