Dance teacher David Anthony, who is accused of seducing a 13-year-old pupil, told a jury today that he did have a sexual relationship with her – but not until she was 18.
At Gloucester Crown Court Mr Anthony, 68, of Chaffinch Close, Innsworth, said nothing sexual happened between them at all when the girl was in her early teens.
However, he said when he met the girl again years later they did have a brief sexual relationship lasting two to three months. It ended when he asked her to marry him and she refused, he said.
Mr Anthony has denied five charges of indecently assaulting the girl and one of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s.
The alleged victim first went to the police with her allegations in 1995 but then did not want to pursue the case. Seventeen years later she made a complaint against Mr Anthony and he was arrested.
She has accepted in evidence that in 2007-2008 she contacted Mr Anthony and sent him friendly emails. She invited him to her home and they danced and kissed.
She also accepted that she had even contacted him again after making her complaint against him.
She explained to the jury that her motive in making contact was to try to get him to explain his offending against her and apologize.
Mr Anthony, a dad-of-two, who ran the Mark Anthony School of Dancing, told the court the girl was attending his classes but he did not really become aware of her until he saw her upset and crying one day during a class.
Subsequently, he said, the girl called at his flat asking if she could help out with running the dance school. At exactly the same time the girl’s father died suddenly and she received that devastating news from her mother while she was at his flat, he said.
He said the girl was so hysterically upset that he asked his sister to come round and to drive her home.
“From that point on my relationship with the girl changed immediately,” he said. “I felt very protective towards her. She then became a very regular visitor to my flat. I think she saw me as a father figure.”
Mr Anthony’s barrister, Tara Wolfe, asked: “At that stage was your relationship at any time sexual?”
“Absolutely not,” he replied..
“Was there any stage at which the relationship became sexual?” asked Ms Wolfe.
“Yes that was when she was 18 and she was working,” he said.
He had not seen her for about two years but she got in touch with him when she was 18 to ask if he could help her with a problem boyfriend, he told the court.
“She said he would be in a pub opposite the bus station so I went there to speak to him. After that my relationship with her changed again. It became very friendly and more casual.
“We talked a lot more and we became closer.”
He said that after a few weeks or months the relationship became sexual and lasted for a couple of months.
He denied the alleged victim’s claim in evidence that he had once apologised to her for subjecting her to a sexual assault.
“The relationship came to an end after I asked her to marry me,” he said. “I felt very romantically towards her.
“I went to meet her in town. I proposed to her but she flatly, outright, said no and walked away. I was devastated. I took it very hard.
“I had no contact with her after that for many years.”
The next contact, he said, was when she started emailing him in 2007. They met up quite a number of times
“Her behavior was intimate, she made advances. There were actions and words. She wanted to cuddle up to me. I said I would tell her husband about it but she made no response. She was completely drunk.”
He said they often met up subsequently – but if he did not make the ‘right responses’ to sexual advances by her she would become aggressive and threatening.
“She was shouting, screaming, threatening, She said she would destroy my life,” he said.
Prosecutor Mark Worsley, cross examining Mr Anthony, put it to him that his story of having a brief affair with the woman when she was 18 was “wholly fictitious.”
But he insisted it was true and that the woman’s allegations of sex with him at 13 were false.
Mr Worsley suggested: “You were grooming her, manipulating her?”
“I think the shoe was on the other foot,” Mr Anthony replied. “I was the one being manipulated over a period of time.”
The trial is expected to end tomorrow.
Read more at http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/dance-teacher-admits-sexual-relationship-with-former-pupil/story-29984254-detail/story.html#VD0m4AiASyYFFGcM.99