Dance teacher wanted for raping former students arrested by US Marshals in Bedford
BEDFORD, Ohio (WOIO) - A weeklong manhunt for a Northeast Ohio dance teacher ended Tuesday morning.
U.S. Marshals arrested 35-year-old Desmond Beasley on High Street in Bedford. Authorities told 19 News Beasley had been living in Little Rock, Arkansas, and that’s where they were expecting to find him, but they got a tip he was headed back to Ohio Tuesday morning.
“We feel like a weight has just been lifted off of all of our shoulders,” said dance instructor Jen Wade.
Beasley is facing dozens of criminal charges, including eight counts of rape, four counts of sexual battery, and one count of attempted rape.
“We became friends you know he had done the same thing he had done to all of us you know he had tricked us all into thinking he was this person that he wasn’t,” explained Wade.
Jen Wade is a dance instructor who worked with Beasley at Studio 82 in North Royalton from 2009 to 2011.
“It has been really tough,” Wade said. “I’ve had to listen to the girls who came forward who came to me and listening to their stories have kept me up at night just because these things that this man has done to these children, no one should have to go through and I know that the kids are still suffering, that the parents are suffering, and it has been a very emotional year. There’s been lots of tears.”
Cuyahoga County prosecutors said Beasley’s victims range in age from 13 to 18 years old and all of them were his former dance students.
“I felt sad because these girls I mean no matter who it is and these girls were all young and the lives were forever changed because of what he did so my first feeling when this happened was we need to step into action, we need to do something about it,” Wade said.
Wade says everyone loved and respected Beasley, which is why the allegations came as such a shock to everyone in the Northeast Ohio dance community.
“We look to see if you’re a good teacher if you’re on time if you’re good with the kids and he was all of those things,” Wade said of Beasley. “He would come to work; he would rarely call off and he was a charmer. He charmed everybody that he worked for you know he was at probably a dozen studios at once and he had tricked everybody with his charm and his personality, and his wit and you know pulled the wool over all of our faces.”
For the past year, Wade has become an advocate for many of the victims.
“I promised them that I wasn’t gonna let this fail,” said Wade. “I wasn’t gonna give up on them.”
Beasley is in the Cuyahoga County Jail he’ll be there until his arraignment, right now that is set for September 29.
“Anyone who preys on children will be a top priority of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. No stone will go unturned until predators like this are off the streets,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
U.s. Marshals are also currently searching Beasley’s place in Little Rock, AR for any other evidence.
Elliott said all of Beasley’s belongings are still at the Arkansas home.
Anyone with information regarding alleged crimes committed by Beasley should call your local police department or the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
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