Choreographer Shane Sparks is finally clearing the air about his child molestation charges and conviction.
Sparks is best known for his work as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance and as a judge on ABDC, but his world was turned upside down when he was charged with six counts of a lewd act on a child and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 in 1999.
He later pleaded no contest to a single felony count of having unlawful sex with a minor under 16 and the other counts were dismissed. The choreographer was sentenced to 270 days in county jail and five years of probation. He is currently attending 52 sessions of sex-offender counseling.
According to Sparks, various media outlets reported false information accusing the choreographer of assaulting other women. Now, Sparks has penned an open-letter giving his side of the story and clearing up the false accusations made against him.
Read sparks’ letter in its entirety 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.”