Montgomery County dance instructor arrested on rape, child pornography charges

A Conshohocken dance teacher was arrested on rape and child pornography charges.
May 9, 2014 2:34:23 AM PDT
A Montgomery County dance instructor has been arrested on rape and child pornography charges.

28-year-old Francis "Frank" Laurenzi is charged with Statutory Rape, Corruption of Minors, Indecent Assault less than 16, Possession of Child Pornography, and Manufacturing Child Pornography.

Investigators say Laurenzi first met his victim when she was just 10 years old.

Four years later he began giving her private lessons at LeRoux School of Dance in Royersford.

Police say their private lessons turned sexual beginning in 2012 and continued until March 2014 when the victim was 16.

Detectives say the sexual encounters escalated when Laurenzi opened his own studio Urban Elegance Dance and Club in Conshohocken.

Karen Sajda owns 'Style of Man' next door to the studio.

"I just think it's a shame. The business owners all try and support each other. It's a shame when you try to support and hear something bad about them. It's really a shame," said Sajda.

A source says Laurenzi confessed to the sex, obtaining photos of the victim and videotaping their sexual encounters without the victim's knowledge.

Detectives arrested the 28-year-old at his dance studio on Fayette Street on Wednesday.

A computer was confiscated and Laurenzi could face additional charges.

The owners of LeRoux were heartbroken by the allegations.

They say they performed a background check on Laurenzi and released a statement that reads, in part:

"There was never anything in Mr. Laurenzi's background that would indicate a predilection to the type of alleged behavior. Again, we are deeply saddened."

Laurenzi's neighbors in Conshohocken say his business there seemed brisk.

"I know he had a hard time for about a year, trying to get this studio open. So I don't know how busy he was," said Sajda.

Bail was set ten percent of $100,000. Laurenzi was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail.

Police say they are only aware of one victim. But Laurenzi worked at several dance studios, including Urban Elegance, LeRoux, Society Hill Academy in Philadelphia and Blue Bell Art and Dance.

Anyone with further information about this or other incidents involving Francis Laurenzi is asked to contact Conshohocken Police Detectives at 610-828-4032 or Limerick Township Police Detectives at 610-495-7909.

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