Youth Protection Advocates in Dance(YPAD) has learned that Ernest Phillips, 29, known as E-Knock, who worked as a hip-hop dance instructor in Waterbury and was connected to Green Mountain Performing Arts and American Dance Training Camps has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor.
Vermont State Police detectives had conducted a sexual assault investigation involving Phillips in 2012, but no charges were filed.
Police reopened the investigation after a victim approached police, alleging she was sexually assaulted while she was a dance student of Phillips in Washington County. As police interviewed witnesses, another dance student — a juvenile at the time — provided similar accounts as the first victim.
Both told police Phillips had sex with them numerous times over the course of a year while they were his dance students.
Press reports show that Phillips had been a dance instructor connected with Green Mountain Performing Arts in Waterbury in 2012. He’s been featured on the TV shows “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and last summer was on the CBS globe-trotting “The Amazing Race.” He was also a featured teacher at American Dance Training Camp for multiple years where he taught young girls in a camp setting. No reports yet if he had any inappropriate relationships at the camp.
Police arrested Phillips at his workplace in Essex and he was held at the Northwest Correctional Facility, awaiting arraignment in court.
Full report below.