Shane Sparks of America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance was in the news a couple of years back (’09) for being arrested on charges of felony child molestation. The award-winning choreographer allegedly performed a lewd act and oral copulation on a person under the age of 16.
At the time, Sparks and his lawyer, Steve Meister, vehemently denied the charges, pleading “not guilty” and vowed to fight it out in court. Fast forward to now and it finds Sparks having changed his plea to “no contest” (Aug 16, 2011) and opting for a plea deal of 270 days in jail and 5 years probation.
The initial accuser – a then-14-year-old girl – waited 15 years to come forward with her story, possibly affecting her credibility, but she had unexpected help in bringing Sparks to justice. Six other alleged victims between the ages of 12 and 17 came forward with their stories of the SYTYCD judge’s unwanted advances, leading to charges on more counts.
Under the plea deal approved by LA County Superior Court Judge Martin Herscovitz, the other counts were dismissed. Along with the sentence of jail time and probation, Sparks will also attend 52 sessions of sex-offender counseling and not go near any female minors without an adult present.