EVERETT, Wash. – A Monroe dance studio instructor accused of touching a 15-year-old female student inappropriately on several occasions was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail.
The instructor, identified as Kristopher A. Backman, 33, was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of third-degree child molestation on Aug. 3. He originally was charged with second-degree child molestation.
Monroe police arrested Backman outside the Stanza Performing Arts Company in July 2016 following a seven-month investigation.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by KOMO News, a teenage girl brought the child abuse allegations forward in November 2015. She claimed Backman touched her inappropriately on three separate occasions dating back to 2014, the documents state. She left the studio in October 2015.
Detectives reached out to dozens of other students leading up to Backman’s arrest, a police spokeswoman said.
None of them reported being inappropriately touched by Backman, court documents state. But, according to the documents, some claimed he made sexually-related comments when they were around him and played inappropriate adult-themed card games with a group of girls when his wife and other instructors were gone.
Backman faced similar allegations from a student at a different dance studio in 2008, court documents state. The documents claim the case was referred to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, but it was ultimately declined, in part, because the girl previously denied having any sexual contact with Backman.