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Friday, July 19, 2013

Grant Davies and the RG Dance studio scandal

RG Dance girls workout

Grant Davies told parents that he could make their child famous and he did - many went on to perform in The Lion King and Billy Elliot.  He and his sister Rebecca Davies had one of the most successful dance studios in the country but what parents didn't know was that Grant Davies was a paedophile.

RG Dance held holiday workshops for kids from studios all over the country and released books and DVDs. Their elite dancers went on a national tour called RG Famous and had their own fan pages on Facebook and Instagram and were rewarded for how many likes and followers they attracted.  The majority of these elite dancers were between 8 and 14.

Rebecca and Grant Davies

In April this year, Grant Davies' wife, Lisa Ricketts, became suspicious when her husband put a lock on his phone and computer. She was shocked to discover that he had sent inappropriate emails to a student. She copied them onto a thumb drive and took it and his laptop to police. They found hundreds of photographs of his naked students, some allegedly as young as 6, dating back to 2004. There were also thousands of images of child pornography downloaded from the internet.

But it wasn't the first time Grant Davies was called before police. In 2007 he was accused of sending students explicit emails about his sexual fantasies, including his desire for a threesome, but he was never charged.

The name Grant Davies sent shivers down the spines of reputable dance teachers everywhere and parents are still worried.  Dance teachers touch students every day, they have to, it's part of their job. Parents would sleep easier if video cameras became mandatory but with all the care in the world, the sinister rock spider is still out there, working with children in various occupations, looking for, and often getting, what he needs.  

In the old days, parents were allowed to sit in and watch their child during class but the teachers didn't like it and banned them.  Maybe it's time to invite them back.

Grant Davies' business partner and sister Rebecca told parents that if they believed their child had been affected, to go to the police. But hang on a minute, she already knew that her brother was accused of allegedly emailing students about having threesomes back in 2007, so why didn't she do something?  She must have known that unless his sexual advances towards his students stopped, it would all end in tears, and it did, the studio is now closed.

Yesterday, 18 July 2013, Davies was again refused bail as another 37 charges were laid against him, bringing the total to 47.  Again, his parents offered $250,000 against their modest home, for his release. But the reason Justice Carolyn Simpson refused bail was because she couldn't be sure if he would try to contact victims or access the internet. 

We await his trial with interest.

Edit 8 August 2013:  Today, a 42 year old woman accused of using her two daughters to make child pornography, has been granted bail on the condition she lives with her sister and does not contact her children unless in the company of their father.

Edit 22 October 2016:  Yesterday, Sydney dancing teacher Grant Davies was sentenced to 24 years in jail for multiple child sex offences against nine victims, with the judge imposing a non-parole period of 18 years.