A 38-year-old dance instructor accused of having a sexual relationship with her 15-year-old female student will be transferred to Charlotte County to face charges.
Lauren Debenedetta, the artistic director and founder of Haven Dance Studio in North Port, is facing two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior against a minor.
According to an arrest affidavit, Debenedetta engaged in an inappropriate relationship with one of her students which lasted several weeks. The victim told detectives her relationship with Debenedetta began while she was taking classes at her dance studio.
The affidavit states Debenedetta would call the teen into her office during dance class, where she would allegedly "kiss her on her mouth" and touch her private parts.
Authorities were tipped off to the inappropriate relationship after the victim's step-father found Debenedetta inside his home.
The affidavit states the teen's father "found the victim in the bedroom." At the time Debenedetta "was hiding next to the victim's bed because she wasn't dressed."
One incident occurred at the instructor's home. At that time Debenedetta "removed the victim's clothing (a shirt and shorts) and Ms. Debenedetta began touching her."
The report states she performed multiple sex acts on the teen on several occasions. The victim told detectives she never touched Debenedetta, nor did she reciprocate the sex acts.
A further investigation revealed Debenedetta also bought the teen a cell phone to communicate with her. In one conversation Debenedetta texted the teen "I love you" to which she responded, "I love you too!!"