Former Binghamton Dance Teacher Sexual Abuse Conviction Reversed
A former local dance instructor, convicted in a child sex abuse case, has had her conviction thrown out and her indictment dismissed.
39-year-old Samantha Werkheiser, also known as Samantha Stone, was serving 15 years in prison following her conviction in a second trial on “course of sexual conduct against a child.” An appeal of an earlier conviction for predatory sexual assault in 2013 ended up with a bench trial before a judge in Broome County Court. She was convicted in that trial and sentence in 2017 to 15 years in prison, all the while maintaining her innocence.
The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division February 21 reversed the conviction and dismissed her indictment based on how the charge was handled in the second bench-trial. The Court said the prosecution failed to file certain motions concerning lesser charges within the required amount of time, prompting the dismissal of the original indictment and the reversal of the conviction.
Werkheiser and her partner, Julie, operated dance studios in Waverly and Creative Dance Elements in Binghamton. Julie Werkheiser is currently serving an 11 year sentence for sexually abusing two children.