Ballet dancer

Ballet dancer Dusty Button and husband Mitchell Taylor Button accused of sexually abusing young dancers in trial

BOSTON — Former Boston Ballet star Dusty Button and her husband, Mitchell Taylor Button, are accused of sexually abusing multiple dancers, including a minor, according to a federal lawsuit.

Taylor Button was charged over the summer, but an updated complaint filed Thursday also named his wife.

Dusty Button was a ballerina for Boston Ballet from 2012 to 2017, according to the company, and has since cultivated a large following on Instagram by showcasing her coveted international workshops, master classes and dance numbers.

A lawsuit filed in July in the U.S. District Court in Nevada alleged that Taylor Button “exploited his position of power and influence in the dance world to sexually abuse young dancers across the country.”

After Taylor Button decided to dismiss the lawsuit and denied the allegations in court filings, an updated complaint filed with the court last week named Dusty Button and her husband as defendants in the abuse.

At least five dancers, some of whom were mentored by Taylor Button, and Dusty Button at times, say he sexually abused them, sometimes with the involvement of his wife, according to court documents.

What the dancers claim

Boston Ballet dancer Sage Humphries and dancer Gina Menichino filed the original lawsuit against Taylor Button, alleging he manipulated and groomed them for sexual assault for years.

Menichino took dance lessons from Taylor Button when she was 13, according to the complaint.

Taylor Button allegedly sexually assaulted Menichino twice in 2010 when they shared a blanket while watching a movie with other dance students, according to the complaint.

When Taylor Button traveled out of state, he “continued to communicate with Gina, including sending and soliciting sexually explicit photos and videos,” the complaint states.

“We look forward to clearing both of their names in court,” attorney Marc John Randazza, who represents the Buttons, told CNN. “We are not trying this case in the press.”

Randazza filed a motion to dismiss the case denying the allegations, citing Nevada’s statute of limitations, according to court documents.

Randazza also said the allegations made in the complaint “were written to interest the press in this matter and to inflame the anger of anyone who reads the complaint,” his motion said.

A judge denied Randazza’s motion to dismiss the case as it targeted the original complaint. Other accusers had come forward since the filing of the petition.

“Our position remains the same,” Randazza told CNN of his motion to dismiss.

The lawsuit alleges that on several occasions, Dusty Button held Humphries down so she couldn’t move while her husband penetrated her without her consent.

According to the lawsuit, the Buttons engaged in sex trafficking because they enticed Humphries “to cross state lines with the Buttons by using threats, intimidation and claiming they would help advance his career. and his professional development, in exchange for engaging in sexual acts.”

Another dancer, identified as Jane Doe 100, was a minor in the Buttons’ custody when they allegedly sexually assaulted her in “a room that had a mattress on the floor and an arsenal of weapons hanging on the wall,” according to the complaint.

Sigrid McCawley, attorney for plaintiffs Sage Humphries, Gina Menichino, Rosemarie DeAngelo, Danielle Gutierrez and Jane Doe 100, sent a statement to CNN regarding the lawsuit against the Buttons.

“Taylor and Dusty Button can no longer use the world of dance to perpetrate their criminal behavior against young girls. Brave women are coming forward now and saying this needs to stop.”

“The Boston Ballet supports Sage Humphries who bravely comes forward, sharing her experience to protect others and seeking accountability and justice,” the dance company said in a statement, but declined to comment specifically on the ongoing litigation.

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