Dance instructor accused of multiple sexual assaults taught in Southern California, Arizona

A Riverside man accused of multiple sexual assaults by former students when he worked as a dance instructor in Anaheim was charged Thursday with assaulting six girls, according to police. 

The suspect, 40-year-old Mark Anthony Chavarria, was arrested after several girls between the ages of 12 and 14 came forward to police and reported multiple sexual assaults. 

The girls told police they were allegedly assaulted when they attended the Chavarria Institute of the Arts dance studio, which Chavarria owned and operated, located at 160 S. Old Springs Road.

Police said there may be additional victims, as Chavarria has taught at numerous dance studios in Southern California and Arizona. 

Chavarria was arrested Tuesday and was being held on $5 million bail. He is 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 a count of sexual penetration by foreign object of an underage victim, all felonies. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for multiple victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Anaheim Police Detective Carney at 714-765-1969 or Orange
County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.

City News Service contributed to this report.