Thursday, December 15, 2011

Letter from Shane Sparks to Dance Community: his side of the story & his plans going forward

The Industry Voice has a letter from Shane Sparks, former America's Best Dance Crew judges who completed jail time for his sentence in having sex with a minor. The letter gives his side of the story and his plans for the future. Please keep an open mind, read the letter, and feel free to comment below:

To the dance industry, peers and fans,
 “Within the last few years of my life I have encountered many difficulties, all while being unable to freely speak and share my side of the story.  The truth of the matter is that when I was in my early twenties, over 17 years ago, I began seeing a young lady who I thought at the time was of age.  She was an employee at (a well known Los Angeles) dance studio, where I was a dance instructor.  My biggest regret and mistake was not making sure that she was over 18 when I began a physical relationship with her.  This young lady’s mother was fully aware and knew that her daughter and I were seeing one another, and consented to the relationship, while leading me to believe that her daughter was older. Nevertheless, I apologize to her and her daughter for any harm I may have caused them.

For a few years now, I’ve had to deal with the public humiliation and personal strife of being condemned by heinous and false accusations.  The case is now over and I was eventually charged and convicted of one count of having sexual relations with a minor, and my punishment was to engage in counseling, which I have already began, and I may have to complete four months in a private jail facility.

After my case was over, TMZ released an inaccurate story stating that there were six other ladies who had been assaulted by me which is completely false.  Statements by my attorney and the prosecuting attorney from the District Attorney’s Office will confirm how false and misleading TMZ’s story was.  I am disappointed and hurt that TMZ would report such a false story without first checking the facts, by contacting the District Attorney’s Office.

Deputy District Attorney: Alison A.W. Meyers wrote a legal statement proving that I was cleared of TMZ’s accusations stating that other minors came forward as victims.

“While the case was pending against Mr. Sparks, no other chargeable victims ever came forward to discuss with me any allegations of the defendant having (sexual encounters) with them when they were underage.” - DDA Alison A.W. Meyers

I am taking all the necessary steps to move towards a positive path and clear my name so I may be remembered as a man of faith, and a talented dancer/choreographer, and leave behind a legacy my loved one’s can be proud of.  I  can only hope that people will finally hear my side of the story and be forgiving instead of believing false accusations that the media highlights.  I would like to thank my family, friends, and supporters for standing by my side and providing me with their strength during this trying time in my life.  I love you all, and will be forever grateful.”
- Shane Sparks