Dance instructor accused of groping, kissing student

Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:37:54 PM EST
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 12:17:27 PM EDT

A man who teaches at several Central Florida dance schools is arrested on allegations of inappropriately touching and kissing a teen girl, and investigators are ...

SANFORD, Fla. -

A 27-year-old dance instructor was arrested on suspicion of inappropriately touching and kissing a teen girl, and Seminole County Sheriff's deputies are investigating whether there are other victims.

Harrison Jonathan Prater, of Orlando, an instructor at several dance schools in Orange and Seminole counties, was arrested Monday night on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior.

According to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, the student told her mother that Prater had touched her after he drove her home from a dance function earlier this month.

The girl, identified as a 14-year-old in the sheriff's report, told deputies that Prater parked the car and asked her for a hug.  When she leaned over to hug him, he kissed, grabbed and touched her inappropriately, deputies said. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, the girl resisted and was able to gather her belongings and exit the vehicle.  She later told her mother about the incident.

Deputies say the victim's mother was aware her daughter was out with Prater and the girls from dance.

"She knew where she was at, she trusted this individual, and assumed that he was going to bring her home safely," said Kim Cannaday, Seminole County Sheriff's Office spokesperson.

Investigators said they're looking into the possibility of additional victims and are asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff's Office at 407-665-6650.

Prater was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility and bonded out Wednesday morning.  He was ordered to wear a GPS tracking device and to have no contact with the victim. 

A judge also said he must stay away from the dance studios where he was an instructor -- Elite Talent Productions in Orlando; New Dimensions Dance Academy on State Road 426 in Oviedo; Tutus on Broadway in Oviedo; and Edge Dance in Lake Mary.

Edge Dance relieved Prater of his teaching duties at the studio, effective immediately, according to a notification sent to parents.

Local 6 has learned Prater was fired from a previous job at a now-closed studio after accusations of inappropriate sexual activity on or in the presence of minors. Prater said in court records he was fired over "false accusations" designed to "ruin his reputation."

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