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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:44 p.m., Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dance instructor won't testify at his trial

Advertiser Courts Writer

Daniel E. Jones, former principal dancer and instructor at an 'Aiea dance studio, chose not to testify this morning in his trial on charges of sexually assaulting five of dance students in 2004 and 2005.

Jones told Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall that it was his decision not to take the witness stand.

The defense and prosecution both rested their cases in the three week trial.

The jury will hear closing arguments, then start deliberating on the charges.

Jones, who worked at the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy, is charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and 14 counts of third-degree sexual assault.

First-degree sex assault carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

The third-degree sex assault charges carry prison terms of up to five years.

The five girls testified that Jones molested them when they were 12- to 15-years old, but Jones' defense attorneys contended that Jones did not engage in sex with any of them and said the case is about a "wildfire of hysteria."