Brandon Christopher Marriott, Tap Dance Teacher, Guilty of Tapping Teen Student
The bottom of his feet was not all dance instructor Brandon Christopher Marriott was tapping as the Westminster 21-year-old pleaded guilty Monday to felony sexual penetration and oral copulation of a minor, a 15-year-old tap dance student.
In a deal with the court, another count of sexual penetration of a minor and luring of a child with intent to commit a specific crime were dismissed, and Marriott was sentenced to six months in jail.
He was looking at up to five years in state prison with a conviction on the original charges, according to a statement the Orange County District Attorney's office issued after Marriott's October 2011 arrest.
A former tap dance instructor at Focus Dance Center in Irvine, Marriott won over the trust of the girl's parents before "grooming" her by telling her she was beautiful. The sexual assaults took place between July and August of 2011, with Marriott fingering and orally copulating the 15-year-old once in his car while taking her to the movies.
But her parents found text messages on the girl's phone from Marriott stating he wanted to have sex with her. The Costa Mesa Police Department launched an investigation that resulted in Marriott's arrest and word being spread throughout the community in case there were other victims since the suspect was a dance teacher. Authorities have not brought additional charges.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison also sentenced Marriott to three years formal probation and ordered the dance teacher to shuffle into jail by Sept. 28 to begin serving his time.
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