SANTA ANA (CNS) - A dance studio owner was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting six girls in Anaheim.
Mark Anthony Chavarria, 40, of Riverside, was charged with 15 counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child younger than 14, two counts of oral copulation of an underage victim and one count of sexual penetration by foreign object of an underage victim, all felonies. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for multiple victims.
Chavarria pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was scheduled for a pretrial hearing June 14 in the North Justice Center in Fullerton.
The victims, who are 12 and 14, alleged they were assaulted while taking classes at the defendant's business, Chavarria Institute of the Arts dance studio at 160 S. Old Springs Road, according to Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Jon McClintock.
Chavarria was arrested Tuesday and was being held on $5 million bail, McClintock said.
Chavarria has also taught at other dance studios in Southern California and Arizona, and investigators suspect there may be other alleged victims, McClintock said. Anyone with information related to the case was asked to call detectives at 714-765-1969. Orange County Crime Stoppers will accept anonymous tips at 855-TIP-OCCS.