Sex abuse dance teacher Grant Davies ran 'cult-like' studio

AAP, Australia/September 5, 2014

The husband of a woman who took explicit photographs of her daughters for a Sydney dance schoolteacher has said she had become ensnared by the teacher’s charisma.

The mother, who can’t be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to producing and disseminating child abuse material following an investigation into alleged sexual and indecent assaults on dance students by their teacher Grant Davies.

Sydney’s District Court has heard that over almost three years the mother took numerous photos of her daughters for Davies, some of which depicted them performing sexually explicit acts.

At her sentencing hearing, her husband described the dance studio as cult-like, and said his wife acted as if she was “under a spell”.

When he raised concerns over the long hours his wife and two children would spend at the studio, he explained it was like talking to a “zombie”.

“I had no control over my wife and two daughters,” he said, adding that his wife had always been “a loving, caring mother”.

The court previously heard extracts from a series of texts allegedly sent between Davies and the mother on November 8, 2011 about her daughters.

When he allegedly requested some “special G-shots”, half an hour later the mother sent sexually explicit photos of her daughter. “Now that has made me excited. I’m so lucky,” Davies allegedly responded.

When Judge Peter Zahra asked the father for his views about these, he said it was a “different person” to the woman he married 16 years ago.

“She unfortunately, I believe, came across a very evil person and she was too weak to resist the temptation he put in front of her.”

He said his wife, who was taken into custody last month, should not be imprisoned but instead be allowed back home.

“They (my children) really are suffering tremendously without her. We all are.”

The woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of using a child under the age of 14 for the production of child abuse material and two counts of disseminating child abuse material.

Davies ran a studio in Sydney’s inner west and trained performers for hit productions, including Billy Elliot.

He is facing more than 50 charges, including child sex and child pornography offences.

She will be sentenced on September 19.

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