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Cleveland Dance Teacher Accused Of Sexually Abusing Students Facing Lawsuit

Instructor Terence Greene formerly taught dance at Cleveland School of the Arts and Cuyahoga Community College. [Mary Fecteau / ideastream]
Dance teacher Terence Greene speaks with students at Cuyahoga Community College.

A dance teacher formerly employed by the Cleveland School of the Arts is facing a federal lawsuit alleging he sexually abused several students during his time at the high school.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of five unnamed plaintiffs, argues Terence Greene violated the federal Title IX statute. Greene used his status as a teacher in the School of the Arts to groom students and sexually abuse them, the suit said, and the abuse took place on school property and in connection with school-related activities.

“As their main dance instructor, [Greene] would gain their trust by building a mentor-mentee relationship whereby Greene would inject himself into his victim's lives and make it known that he could assist their education and professional careers as dancers and in the arts,” the lawsuit said. “Then, using his position of trust and his reputation he would begin a sexual relationship with his victim students.”

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board of Education and CSA administrators are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Administrators knew of allegations and complaints against Greene, the lawsuit said, but “were deliberately indifferent” and failed to investigate or take steps to protect students.

“At all times relevant, administrators at CSA and Defendant BOE with authority to impose corrective measures failed to do so and concealed, failed to disclose and exhibited deliberate indifference toward Plaintiffs and toward circumstances that implicated Defendant Greene,” the lawsuit said.

District officials also failed to take appropriate steps after Greene was indicted with four counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in a case that concluded in 2004, the lawsuit alleged. Greene was allowed to return to his position after being acquitted.

Greene was contracted to work with the School of the Arts from 1999 to 2014. He then worked at Cuyahoga Community College until earlier this year.

The lawsuit is calling for compensation for the injuries and damages alleged by the plaintiffs, as well as a trial by jury.

Greene is facing charges of sexual battery and a warrant was issued for his arrest last week.

Neither CMSD nor Greene responded to requests for comment.