Ex-'SYTYCD' choreographers head to trial on sex crime charges
The dance is definitely not going on any time soon for either Shane Sparks or Alex Da Silva, two choreographers who have appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" and who are separately going to trial later in August over alleged sex crimes, according to Dance Track Magazine.
Let's break this down: Sparks (who also worked as a judge on MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew") was arrested in December 2009 in Hollywood on felony child molestation charges stemming from incidents in the 1990s. According to the story, prosecutors believe they can make a case that the expired statute of limitations on the crimes does not apply here.
Sparks is free on bail at the moment, and still working. Sherri Shepherd has hired him to choreograph steps for a group dance at her wedding, according to Entertainment Tonight.
If convicted, Sparks, who has an Emmy nomination for his "SYTYCD" work, faces nearly 15 years in prison. His trial is set to begin on August 16.
Meanwhile, Da Silva's arrest on four charges of sexual assault and rape came in 2009 for alleged crimes that occurred between 2002-2009. All of his accusers were his students at the time.
According to Dance Track, each of the four charges against Da Silva could land him 15 years on prison; that means he may get up to 90 years to life without possibility of parole if convicted. A mistrial earlier this year ended his first trial, but a new trial is scheduled for August 24. Unlike Sparks, Da Silva is in jail, held on $2 million in bail.
"Since both cases are near trial, we cannot discuss the evidence," Sandi Gibbons, a representative for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, told Dance Track. "But we do not file cases unless we believe that based upon the evidence, we can prove the case in court beyond a reasonable doubt."
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