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Appeals court throws out former dance teacher’s sex abuse indictment

(WBNG) — An appeals court states a former dance teacher’s indictment and conviction for sexually abusing a child are being thrown out due to a procedural error by prosecutors.

The appeal of 39-year-old Samantha Stone, also known as Samantha Werkheiser, was granted by judges with the third appellate division of New York State Supreme Court.

Werkheiser was sentenced to 15 years behind bars in March 2017 after being found guilty of sexually abusing a child over the course of several years at a home in Binghamton. She had previously been found guilty in 2013, but that conviction was overturned on appeal.

In a decision entered on Thursday, judges stated that after being indicted for predatory sexual assault, a reinspection of grand jury minutes showed grounds for a lesser charge, for which she was convicted.

However, the court notes a reduced indictment had never been filed. Thus, the appeals court reversed the conviction and dismissed the original indictment.

Werkheiser had been a dance instructor at Studio J in Waverly and had once owned Creative Dance Elements in Endicott. She is currently serving her sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York.

12 News reached out the Tom Jackson, the special prosecutor in the case, but has not yet heard back.

READ THE COURT’S FULL DECISION BELOW:

David Hermanovitch

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