HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — A West End dance instructor was sentenced for having, or attempting to have, sex with five underage dance students.
Judge Gary Hicks sentenced 35-year-old Andrew Defiesta to 90 years in prison with 74 years of the sentence suspended. As a result, Defiesta will spend 16 years in prison.
Hicks called the case nauseating and disgusting.
Defiesta cried as he addressed the court saying he had shamed his family, as well as his country. He pleaded guilty to 18 counts, including taking indecent liberties with a minor and child porn charges, in August.
A medical expert testified Defiesta suffered from, Ephebophilia which was defined as an abnormal sexual appetite for mature teens. The expert said the disorder was triggered while Defiesta was serving in the military and killed a teenager in Iraq.
Defiesta’s victims were girls who ranged in age from 15 to 17 years old. The first sexual encounter with a student happened in 2004 when Defiesta worked at the Latin Ballet Academy.
Henrico Police arrested Defiesta in November 2012 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.
Defiesta also called his wife from jail to tell her to delete images from his computer.
Joe St. George asked prosecutors if Defiesta’s wife would face charges since she allegedly deleted photos and provided her husband with a false alibi. Prosecutors said they were not prepared to answer those questions — and that it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.
Regency Dance Academy and Defiesta’s attorney refused to comment on the case following the August hearing in which Defiesta pleaded guilty.
During the trial, no one from Regency Dance Academy testified.
More details were released in court about what happened to the victims during sentencing.
Parents from the Latin Ballet of Virginia, where Defiesta previously worked, testified that Defiesta played “blind trust games” with his victims. During the game, victims were blindfolded and taken into a basement or alley.
Additionally, members of the Latin Ballet of Virginia testified that Defiesta took victims swimming while the group was traveling and encouraged the girls to swim in their leotards.
The Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney said that for the indecent liberties with a minor charges, Defiesta faced five years in prison. The first child porn charge is also five years. However, the maximum sentence for the remaining nine charges is 10 years each. Defiesta faced a maximum sentence of 135 years in prison.