Ballet academy owners appear in court for alleged sex with 17-year-old student

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The married owners and operators of a Louisville ballet academy have been arrested after police say they sexually abused a 17-year-old girl who was a student and employee there.

Police say the victim was a 17-year-old girl who was employed at the Fleur-De-Lis Ballet Academy, located at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville. She was also a student there. According to police, the studio is owned and operated by 54-year-old Declan McAuley and 35-year-old Ariadne McAuley.

According to arrest warrants, Declan McAuley and Ariadne McAuley both engaged in sex acts with the victim on at least seven occasions at their Crestwood home. Police say Declan McAuley and Ariadne McAuley also had sexual relations with each other in the presence of the victim.

The couple made their first court appearance in Oldham County on Wednesday afternoon. 

Police say the abuse came to light when the victim was interviewed at the Kosair Child Advocacy Center.

When police confronted Declan McAuley about the alleged abuse, they allegedly found images of the victim sleeping naked on his cell phone.

Both Declan and Ariadne McAuley were arrested on Tuesday and charged with first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree engaging in an unlawful transaction with a minor. They are currently being held in the Oldham County Detention Center. They are scheduled back in court on June 20. 

Police are asking any other possible victims of assault to come forward.

The Fleur-De-Lis Ballet Academy was originally listed as a vendor on the city of Louisville's Cultural Pass, a pass that granted children free access to several of Louisville's arts and cultural institutions. 

A statement sent Wednesday from the Fund for the Arts said: "Fleur de Lis Dance Academy is no longer an approved venue for the 2018 Cultural Pass. The partners, venues, and sponsors of the Cultural Pass are committed to ensuring students and their families are able to learn, play, and explore art and culture in safe environments.”

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