Assaults betrayed trust in instructor, teens say
Two girls testify that their dance teacher tried to hypnotize them prior to sexual attacks
Two 15-year-old girls who accused their dance instructor of sexually molesting them testified that they regarded Daniel Jones as an "older brother" and trusted him, but he betrayed them.
Trial continued in Circuit Court Judge Virginia Crandall's courtroom yesterday for Jones, 21, accused of multiple sexual assaults on five students between July 2004 and last June.
The girls, students at the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy in Aiea, ranged in age from 12 to 14 at the time the assaults allegedly occurred at the studio or in their homes. They claim that Jones tried to hypnotize them first.
A 15-year-old girl who resumed testifying yesterday said she started a journal after the assaults occurred, chronicling how she felt about what he did to her and how he had ruined her life.
"It hurt me because I had to leave the place where I grew up," she said, wiping away tears.
She also wrote about his betrayal "because I trusted him like an older brother and didn't think he would do something like this to me," she said.
She said she loved him but does not now because of what he did to her.
At one point she wrote that she wished she had never said anything about what he did to her because some individuals at the studio were mad at her and the other girls.
Jones denies the allegations and contends the girl and her friends made it up because one of them was obsessed with him but was rejected.
The second 15-year-old victim said Jones touched her in her private areas on two occasions last February inside her house while her parents or grandparents were in another room.
He attempted to hypnotize her unsuccessfully, but she pretended she was because she did not want to hurt his feelings, she said.
The first time he touched her, she thought it was a "misunderstanding" and did not tell anyone afterward what happened.
But when it happened the second time only a week later, the day before Valentine's Day 2005, she said she was "annoyed and scared" and no longer trusted him.
She subsequently quit dance and misses it a lot.
"Dance was like my life -- I've been doing it since I was little," she said.
The girl said she was not angry at Jones for telling her mother earlier that she had been suicidal. Jones' attorney said in opening statements that she wanted to get even with him for telling her mother.