SA court jails piano teacher Anthony Theodore Vance for five years for abusing three girls
Chief Court Reporter Sean Fewster
March 03, 2015
HIS deviant actions left little girls feeling like prisoners of their secret, but today predatory music teacher Anthony Theodore Vance became a prisoner himself.
Vance, 76, was today jailed for five years, and will spend at least three years behind bars, for his persistent sexual exploitation of girls as young as five.
In sentencing, District Court Judge Michael Boylan said Vance deserved “stern punishment” because he had shown no remorse and continued to insist his victims were liars.
“One of your victims very eloquently described one of the effects of sexual abuse … she said she was a prisoner of her secret,” Judge Boylan said.
“That’s a very eloquent way of describing how the victims of sexual abuse feel — prisoners, cut off from others, alone, unable to trust other people.
“The courts have often said these offences must be sternly punished, and you have three victims, no insight and committed a serious breach of trust.”
Vance, of Christies Beach, was found guilty at trial of three counts of the persistent exploitation of a child.
Between 2004 and 2007 he touched the upper thighs and genitalia of three girls — aged between five and 10 years old — while teaching them to play the piano or electric keyboard.
During their evidence, the girls said the inappropriate touching occurred “nearly every lesson”.
In sentencing today, Judge Boylan agreed Vance’s offending was “less serious” compared with many sexual abuse cases — but said that was no reason for clemency.
“You have still damaged these girls … they have suffered much, and will continue to suffer much, as a result of what you did to them,” he said.
“I can give you no discount (on your sentence) because you continue to assert that the three girls have told lies.”
He imposed a five-year jail term with a three-year non-parole period, saying there were no grounds upon which to suspend the sentence.