Studio’s patrons
shocked by
sex charges

The 20-year-old instructor charged
with assaulting teens was well
regarded at the dance school

Some family members of children attending an Aiea dance school expressed disbelief yesterday that a 20-year-old instructor had sexually assaulted four young female students.


Daniel Jones: His mom and two sisters also work for the studio

"I don't believe it," said Nanita Lucero, whose 7-year-old granddaughter takes classes three to four times a week at the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy.

The instructor, Daniel E. Jones, was charged Sunday with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and 13 counts of third-degree sexual assault. He was released after posting $50,000 bail.

School founder Rosalie Woodson declined comment. A letter to parents and guardians of students signed by Woodson and posted at the school states: "Daniel Jones, a former instructor, has been formally charged with a crime.

"However, we want to reassure you that your children are safe with us, and we will provide the utmost care for them and their families."

Jones allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl who had been taking classes at the dance academy since age 5.

According to a police affidavit, some alleged assaults occurred Aug. 7 or 8 at Kualoa Regional Park in Kaaawa during a camping trip with others while Jones and the 12-year-old were alone in a tent.

Jones also allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the girl on numerous occasions while the two were alone in the office or another room at the dance academy at 99-153 Moana-lua Road. These incidents allegedly occurred between Aug. 9 and March 18.

He also allegedly assaulted three other female students. The other incidents, classified as third-degree sexual assault, involved fondling or inappropriate touching, police said.

A 14-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted at her Kaneohe home Feb. 6 and 13. Jones allegedly assaulted a 13-year-old girl at her Ewa Beach home in February. And another 14-year-old told police she was sexually assaulted Feb. 4, once in the office of the dance academy and later that month in the bathroom.

Parents of other dance students had mixed reactions yesterday.

"At times I want to be there when they dance, but I'm not allowed to," said Julie Michaels, whose 5-year-old daughter takes classes at the school. "If they could change one thing," she said, it would be to allow parents to watch the classes either inside the classrooms or through a window.

"She's (her daughter) only here for an hour once a week. If it was more than that, I think I'd be uncomfortable."

Melissa Layden said, "I didn't know him (Jones) well, but enough to be surprised." She said she will allow her daughter to continue classes at the school. "I have no concerns whatsoever about her safety."

Lucero said Jones taught girls from about age 9 and up. She said many of them had crushes on him, would jump on him, but he would always tell them to stop.

She said one girl, who would "follow him around like a puppy," jumped on Jones, wrapping her legs around his waist.

She dismissed the charges against Jones as unfounded allegations.

Jones began as a student of Rosalie Woodson when he was just 3, Lucero said. Jones' mother is the office manager at the academy, and his two sisters are also instructors, police said.

Lucero described him as "the best tap dancer."

A Web site advertising a May 7 "Salsa Under the Stars" event describes Jones as "one of the best male tap dancers in the islands."

The Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy was in the public spotlight about 20 years ago when Diane Suzuki, a part-time dance instructor at the academy and a University of Hawaii student, disappeared July 6, 1985.

Her body was never found, although the case is classified as a homicide. The case was never prosecuted due to a lack of evidence.

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