St. Petersburg ballet instructor pleads guilty to sex crimes, gets 20 years in prison

Local News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg ballet instructor will have to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to multiple sex crimes.

Servy Gallardo, 52, pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd or lascivious battery — sexual activity, and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim between ages 12 and 16.

Gallardo was initially accused of sexually abusing one of his students at the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory in Gulfport, they were only 15-years-old according to police. When he was arrested in May, St. Petersburg police investigators said Gallardo had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the student. According to police Gallardo had sex with the victim in his apartment at least three times.

A St. Petersburg police spokesperson also told 8 On Your Side they thought there could be more victims.

Following his arrest, the conservatory released a statement telling the public they had suspended Gallardo without pay, pending the results of the investigation. He was also banned from the property or interacting with students, and board member sand staff at SPBC were cooperating with law enforcement to assist the investigation.

“We take protecting children and teens seriously, and we have strived to establish policies, procedures and protocols to keep young people safe. We were blindsided and heartbroken by these allegations,” SPBC said in a statement in May.

The Pinellas County Clerk’s Office said Gallardo was sentenced to 20 years in Florida State Prison, with two days credited for time served on his sentence. He will be designated as a sexual predator, according to the clerk’s office.

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