Skip to main content

A Florida dance teacher was sentenced to 26 years in prison for sexually abusing her 15-year-old female dance student in Sarasota, Florida.

Lauren Debenedetta, 41, was sentenced to prison in September 2019 after being found guilty on four counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, one count of lewd or lascivious conduct and one count of lewd or lascivious battery.

The 15-year-old victim told authorities the abuse began while she was a student at Haven Dance studio in Florida, Lauren is the owner of Haven Dance studio.

Debenedetta asked the teenager into her office during dance class and would “kiss her on the mouth” and touch the young teen’s private parts.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for you

The abuse including kissing and other sex acts also took place at Debenedetta’s home and the victim’s home.

In 2016 the victim’s stepfather came home to check on the teen after she had stayed home sick from school, he discovered Debenedetta hiding naked in the teen’s room next to her bed.

Debenedetta had also bought the teen a cellphone so they could communicate with one another.

The Haven Dance studio, which Debenedetta founded in 2013, abruptly closed after her arrest.

Debenedetta will have to serve five years on sex offender probation and will be required to register as sex offender, in addition to her 26 years in prison.