Tampa Bay ballet teacher accused of sexually abusing 15-year-old student appears in court

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay dance instructor is accused of molesting one of his students and St. Petersburg police believe there could be more victims.

According to police reports, 52-year-old ballet instructor Servy Gallardo molested one of his students multiple times.

“It’s scary, I don’t understand why people do stuff like that,” said Montrea Griffin who lives in a St. Petersburg apartment near Gallardo with her young siblings. “It does bother me with him living so close to my home,” Griffin said.

Gallardo was booked into the Pinellas County Jail Monday and appeared before a judge Tuesday.

Gallardo is accused of having sex with one of his 15-year-old students from the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory in Gulfport and faces a felony including five charges,

According to police Gallardo had sex with the victim in this St. Pete apartment at least three times.

On Gallardo’s Facebook page it said he’s married with a little girl.

Eight On Your Side tried to speak with Gallardo’s family at his St. Petersburg apartment but no one answered. Eight On Your Side also went to the ballet conservatory which is leased from the Catholic Diocese. According to the Catholic Diocese, the studio is leased from them but they have no affiliation.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg has no affiliation with the St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory. They are an independent organization that leases space on church property. We are shocked to learn that an instructor from the Conservatory has been charged with sexual abuse and we pray for all involved.

Teresa Peterson
Executive Director

No one from the studio wanted to talk to us but the executive director sent us a statement saying Gallardo has been suspended, to their knowledge no abuse took place at the studio and they do not tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct.

Sent to WFLA from St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory Executive Director, Brian Melton

Griffin said she feels bad for the victim.

“I just feel bad because now she has to live with that for the rest of your life, it’s sick,” Griffin said.

Gallardo’s has since posted $100,000 bond. He’s set to appear before the judge again in two days.

If you have any other information about potential victims, contact the St. Petersburg Police Department.

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