BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Content Warning: The following article contains descriptions of sex abuse.
Hurt and outraged parents are pulling their kids out of a Broken Arrow dance studio after finding out about the months old arrest of a dance instructor.
Broken Arrow Police confirmed that they arrested Tanequa Stewart on Sept. 24 of 2022, for child sexual abuse. At the time, Stewart was an instructor at Miss Kristy’s School of Dance, near E. Kenosha St. and S. 177th E. Ave.
According to an arrest report, the victim told police that Stewart fondled her under her clothing near her hips, genitals and breasts. She told police this happened multiple times, lasted several hours and made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
The victim was not a student at the dance studio.
The report said Stewart called what she did “stupid.”
Stewart was booked into the Wagoner County Jail, bailed out just days later and continued to the teach at the dance studio.
Parents who spoke to FOX23 said they noticed around this time that Stewart’s behavior was off. They said when they told the owner, they were told not to worry and to have grace for Stewart.
“She has used phrases like ‘let’s give her grace, let’s not ask about the situation,” one parent said.
Parents said around Christmas break, rumors began to spread and they all found out about the arrest. They were shocked when they could corroborate it with the report.
The Special Victims Unit Director for District 27, John Bennett, is dealing with the case and said he’s still investigating and deciding whether to press charges.
“Any time you’re going to pull the trigger and file any kind of sexual case of any kind you need to make sure you have your eyes dotted and your T’s crossed and all of the questions that can be answered answered before you make the charging decision not having those pieces of info can hurt you, so I endeavor to answer all the questions that I have about the case before I file it,” he said.
Bennett said he will make a charging decision in February.
Parents said charges or not, they’re outraged the dance studio didn’t notify parents sooner.
“We understand that there are no charges and there’s not a conviction but there was the possibility of danger and the parents were kept out of the loop and not given information that pertained to our children’s safety,” one parent said.
Another parent said the owner of the studio failed to project their child.
“Regardless of what her employee did or didn’t do, she failed to protect my child,” they said.
FOX23 went to the studio Wednesday and spoke with the owner, who declined to comment.
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