Dance teacher to serve 6 years

Howard man convicted in second sex abuse case

Time added to Macedo's sentence

Third case involving an ex-student is pending

August 14, 2004|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

A former Ellicott City dance teacher convicted this spring of molesting a young student was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison -- in addition to the six years he is serving for the sexual assault of another student.

Jose Anibal Macedo stood quietly as Howard Circuit Judge James B. Dudley imposed consecutive and concurrent sentences for three counts of third-degree sexual offense and one count of sexual child abuse.

Earlier, Macedo, who has maintained his innocence, told Dudley that his life has been "very, very difficult" since three of his former students accused him of sexually assaulting them during private lessons at his Baltimore National Pike dance studio, Advance Dance Academy.

Macedo, 43, has been in prison since October, when he was sentenced for convictions of attempted rape and related charges in the first of the three cases brought against him. A third case is pending.

"I lost my business. I lost my reputation. I lost my career," he said yesterday. "I lost everything."

But in written statements to the court, the victim in yesterday's case, who had just turned 12 when the abuse occurred in April and May 2001, and her parents said they had lost more.

"Before this all happened, all I wanted to do was dance, but now I feel like my dream has been taken away from me," the victim, now 15, wrote. "Not only does it feel like my dream has been shattered, but my dignity has been taken from me."

The girl's parents said they have watched their daughter lose trust and struggle with flashbacks and nightmares. The Sun does not name victims of sexual assault and is not naming the parents to protect the teen's identity.

"Our only intent in going through this entire court process was our strong desire to never allow Mr. Macedo to destroy the innocence and childhood of other little girls as he has done to our daughter," they wrote. "Our daughter will never be the same again."

Later, the girl's mother said that with the six-year sentence, her daughter "can have closure."

Macedo's sentencing came at the end of a hearing that was most noticeable for what was missing. Unlike earlier proceedings, each of which attracted a dozen or more supporters who loudly and emotionally proclaimed their belief in their teacher's innocence, no one -- not even Macedo's wife -- attended yesterday.

Macedo's attorney, Thomas P. Bernier, said Charlene Macedo still stands by her husband.

"She just finds it too difficult to be involved in this process at this stage," he said.

Reached at work yesterday, a parent of one of Macedo's former students said those who passionately supported Macedo and helped him financially during his first case had to move on with their lives.

"Emotionally, there's only so much you can give," said Laurie Beyerle, whose daughter, Michelle, taught at Macedo's studio.

It was unclear yesterday when and where the third sexual assault case -- in which Macedo is accused of fondling a student over 18 months beginning in November 1999, when the girl was 14 -- would be tried.

On Monday, Dudley granted a motion to transfer the case to a different county, citing press reports about his two convictions.

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