A female dance teacher has been sentenced to 26 years in jail after she was found guilty on four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor — her 15-year-old student.
The teacher, Lauren Debenedetta of the US was said to have engaged in an inappropriate relationship with her female student which lasted several weeks in Charlotte County and Sarasota in 2016.
41-year old Debenedetta was caught by the student’s stepdad when he stepped into her bedroom to check up on his daughter, who had stayed home for a sick day. He caught them naked in bed
According to court documents, Debenedetta called the student after she learnt that she was staying home for the day and asked if she could come over. The student also told the police that the relationship started as soon as she started classes at Debenedetta’s dance studio, Haven Dance.
A court heard how Debenedetta would call the teen into her office during class and would “kiss her on her mouth” and “touch her private parts” at Debenedetta’s dance studio, Haven Dance.
It was then revealed Debenedetta gave the student a phone so they could privately exchange messages.
The girl told officers they performed sex acts at her house, Debenedetta’s house and the dance studio.
The teacher who has now been sentenced to 26-years in jail, will also be on sex offender probation for another five years after serving her term.
Debenedetta founded the studio back in 2013. It was shut down shortly after her arrest.