Henrico dance instructor pleads guilty to child-sex charges
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A West End dance instructor pleaded guilty to charges that he had sex with, or attempted to have sex with, five female students.
Andrew Defiesta, 34, pleaded guilty to 18 counts, including taking indecent liberties with a minor and child porn charges.
Defiesta’s victims ranged in age from 15 to 17 years old. The first sexual encounter with a student happened nearly 10 years ago, in 2004, when Defiesta worked at the Latin Ballet Academy.
Henrico police arrested Defiesta last November when someone reported walking in on him having sex with a 16-year-old girl at Regency Dance Academy in Henrico County. Defiesta taught dance at that studio at the time.
That someone who walked in on Defiesta was Michelle Marx, who is speaking out about the incident for the first time.
“He hurt these little girls that I care so much about,” Marx said. ”It breaks my heart to hear the things that actually did happen.”
In court Tuesday, it was revealed Defiesta went to great lengths to cover up his crimes.
After he was caught having sex with the teenage student, Defiesta went home, picked up his wife and brought her back to the studio to try and convince Marx that he had been having sex with his wife.
“I knew he was a great manipulator,” Marx told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George.
Defiesta also called his wife from prison to tell her to delete images from his computer.
Regency Dance Academy and Defiesta Attorney refused to comment on the case following Defiesta pleading guilty.
The commonwealth’s attorney also remained quiet, but did say that for each of the indecent liberties with a minor charges, he faces five years in prison for each. The first child porn charge is also five years. However, the maximum sentence for the remaining nine charges is ten years each.
In total, that would add up to a maximum sentence of 135 years in prison.
Defiesta will be sentenced on Dec. 11.